NFL PLAYER NEWS
Colts continue Nyheim Hines hype
Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines is someone to consider in fantasy drafts this season, according to head coach Frank Reich.
"If I was a fantasy owner, I'd consider drafting Nyheim," Reich stated. The Colts' head coach, who is also the offensive play-caller, has already said this offseason that Hines will have a bigger role in the team's offense with Matt Ryan at quarterback. Hines set career-lows in catches and targets with Carson Wentz under center last year, as Jonathan Taylor emerged as the workhorse of the Colts' offense.
Hines averaged 5.4 FanDuel points per game last season while rushing 56 times for 276 yards and 2 touchdowns, and catching 40 passes (57 targets) for 310 yards and 1 touchdown.
Jameis Winston (knee) active at Saints OTAs
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (knee) is participating in offseason drills.
Winston tore his ACL on Halloween last year, but he continues to be on track for Week 1. The Saints added Jarvis Landry in free agency and spent a first-round pick on Chris Olave, and Michael Thomas is expected back, so Winston should benefit from the upgrade in receiving talent. He helped the Saints achieve a 5-2 record before going down in Week 8.
Winston completed 59.0 percent of his passes last season and averaged 167.1 yards per game while throwing 14 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He also added 23.7 rushing yards per game and scored once. Among the 44 quarterbacks with at least 100 drop backs, Jameis ranked 14th in Passing Net Expected Points per drop back.
Terry McLaurin (contract) absent for Commander OTAs
Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin has been absent from the start of offseason workouts.
McLaurin is sitting out the start of the voluntary workouts while he and the Commanders negotiate a new contract. Head coach Ron Rivera indicated that McLaurin could sign soon, but it remains to be seen if the two sides will work out a deal before mandatory workouts start next month. McLaurin has led Washington in targets, receptions, and receiving yards in each of his first three seasons in the league.
McLaurin accounted for 28.1% of Washington's receiving yards and 24.3% of the team's targets in 2021 while averaging 10.3 FanDuel points per game. He ranked 53rd in FanDuel points per target (1.34) among receivers with 50-plus targets.
Kyler Murray expected to be at Cardinals mandatory minicamp
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is expected to attend mandatory minicamp, per head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Murray wasn't present on Monday for the start of the Cardinals' voluntary offseason workouts, but Kingsbury doesn't anticipate a holdout from his starting quarterback when players are required to attend in mid-June. Murray previously publicly stated his dissatisfaction with his current contract situation and ESPN's Adam Schefter reported this week that no progress has been made between the two sides. The Cardinals picked up Murray's fifth-year option in April, which keeps him under contract through the 2023 season.
Kyler averaged 21.1 FanDuel points per game last season. Among the 44 quarterbacks with at least 100 drop backs, he ranked 11th in Passing Net Expected Points per drop back (0.21). He averaged the second-fewest Rushing NEP per carry (0.22) out of the 11 quarterbacks with 50-plus carries.
Jaguars' Travis Etienne (foot) a "full-go" for offseason program
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Peterson told reporters Monday that running back Travis Etienne (foot) is a "full-go" for the team's offseason program.
Etienne, a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, missed the entirety of his rookie season after suffering a devastating Lisfranc injury that required surgery. According to Peterson, it now looks like he's on track for a healthy and full offseason program as the Jags prepare for the 2022 season. With teammate James Robinson recovering from a late-season torn Achilles injury, Etienne could be in line for a massive workload in his first real season in the league.
Etienne was incredibly productive alongside teammate Trevor Lawrence in his time at Clemson, totaling double-digit rushing touchdowns in each of his four seasons. In his final two seasons he became a legitimate weapon as a receiver as well, becoming one of Lawrence's top targets in the process. He has true workhorse upside in the Jaguars' new and improved offense for the upcoming season.
Elijah Mitchell viewed as 49ers' top back
San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell is viewed as the team's top rusher, per Nick Wagoner of ESPN.
Mitchell was barely on the fantasy radar as a sixth-round pick in a crowded backfield at the beginning of last season, but he wound up leading the backfield with 226 touches and 1,100 yards from scrimmage in 11 games. Despite viewing Mitchell as the team's top back, Wagoner adds that the 49ers believe third-round rookie Tyrion Davis-Price could emerge as a "bigger, more powerful complement" to the second-year back. That creates some concern for Mitchell's fantasy outlook due to possibly losing out on scoring opportunities close to the goal line. Mitchell led the 49ers' running backs with four carries inside the five-yard live last season.
Among the 77 running backs with at least 50 carries last season, Mitchell ranked 46th in Rushing Net Expected Points per carry (negative-0.01). He averaged 14.1 FanDuel points in 11 games last season, which ranked 12th among qualified NFL backs.