The NFL is expected to suspend Bucs QB Jameis Winston 3 games for violating its personal conduct policy, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The ban stems from a March 2016 incident when Winston allegedly groped an Uber driver. Charges were never filed against Winston, but the NFL has taken a hard line in these situations since the Ray Rice debacle. Schefter does add that "the league still has not notified Winston of its official decision, and the circumstances surrounding it still could lead to an increase or decrease of the three games." So this doesn't sound officially official yet. But fantasy drafters should be planning for now on Winston missing the first 3 games of the season vs. the Saints, Eagles and Steelers. It's a blow to his best-ball value and makes him tough to draft in standard-sized lineup-setting leagues. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is in line to start while Winston serves his suspension. Fitzpatrick was serviceable in 5 appearances last year, completing 58.9% of his passes with 7 TDs vs. 3 INTs. He's unlikely to be more than a QB2 option -- especially with no teams on bye during those first 3 weeks -- but is at least capable of keeping the Bucs' skill-position guys afloat.
Jeff Cameron of ESPN Radio 97.9 in Tallahassee, Fla., reports that Bucs QB Jameis Winston and his "camp" expect a league suspension over 2016 charges that Winston groped a female Uber driver. Winston's crew reportedly expects "a maximum of 3 games." Guess we'll see about this case, which surrounds an ongoing investigation. Obviously, any missed time would alter Winston's fantasy outlook. Losing the 1st 3 weeks would cost him a trip to New Orleans plus home matchups with Philly and Pittsburgh. Those defenses ranked 5th, 8th and 7th, respectively, in Football Outsiders' pass-D efficiency last season.
Lions WR Kenny Golladay flashed with 17.0 yards per catch as a rookie, including 5 grabs of 40+ yards. He rolled that momentum into spring workouts, earning praise from the media, coaching staff and teammates. "I saw freakish catches, man," WR Golden Tate said of Golladay's spring. "Some real freakin' freakish catches. Kenny's still a young guy trying to figure it out, but he's moving at a great pace. If he can just keep the mentality he has coming in, he studies, and just tries to get better every day, I'm telling you, this guy can be dominant. He's a WR1 kind of guy." Golladay will open the season as Detroit's #3 WR but could siphon targets from both Tate and Marvin Jones. This is also a Lions offense that's ranked top 12 in passing yards in 8 straight seasons, including a 6th-place finish last year. So there's plenty of production to go around. Highlight Golladay as an upside target in the double-digit rounds of fantasy drafts.
Colts QB Andrew Luck threw in practice last week for the 1st time in about 8 months. Insider Albert Breer reports that Luck is now "deeper into his rehab without a major hiccup" than he's been since undergoing surgery on his throwing shoulder in January 2017. He's traveled this offseason to Los Angeles to work on his mechanics and to Amsterdam to learn about alternative training techniques, according to Breer. Luck still hasn't thrown in 11-on-11s, and his reps will be closely monitored when training camp opens. But he certainly seems to be trending in the right direction. Luck's ADP is sitting in the 11th round as the 17th QB off the board. He's a fine shot to take at that price tag.
Bryan Broaddus of Cowboys.com singled out WR Michael Gallup and TE Blake Jarwin when asked to name which pass-catchers have been in sync with QB Dak Prescott this spring. Dallas' WR and TE corps will look much different this season after the departures of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, who combined for 44.4% of the team's targets last year. Gallup, a 3rd-round rookie with an impressive combination of athleticism and college production, has a shot to emerge as the Cowboys' #1 WR in 2018. And Jarwin is in the mix for a significant role with Rico Gathers, Geoff Swaim and Dalton Schultz as his only competition. We'll be keeping a close eye on this pass-catching group all summer.
For the 2nd straight year, the NFL has suspended Cowboys DT David Irving for the 1st 4 weeks of the regular season. Per multiple reports, this suspension comes under the league's substance-abuse policy. (Last year's was for PEDs.) Irving spent much of this offseason away from the team or working off to the side, with coaches revealing only that he was working through some "personal" issues. In his absence, former Raiders DT Jihad Ward saw reps with the 1st team. Ward could step in for Irving early this season if his intriguing play carries over into padded practices. Irving, meanwhile, posted big IDP numbers after missing the 1st quarter of last season. So he should remain on IDP radars. Whether he'll make sense in your league will depend on your scoring, lineup settings and roster depth.
When asked about 2nd-year RB Elijah McGuire on Thursday, Jets RBs coach Stump Mitchell compared the former 6th-round pick to a hall of famer. “He has the skill set to be a LaDainian Tomlinson, if he was given that opportunity,” Mitchell said, per the New York Post. Frankly, that's a laughable comparison. It would be for just about any RB, given that Tomlinson ranks among the best ever. But Mitchell's opinion could put McGuire more in the mix for touches this season than we might have expected. Mitchell added that he "told David Johnson the same thing" about his skill set, when Mitchell coached Arizona RBs. Mitchell added that McGuire doesn't face such an opportunity with the Jets, but Isaiah Crowell might be the only RB locked into a big role. We're far from excited about McGuire, but we'll be curious to see if he generates any training camp buzz.
Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Raiders "fear potential NFL discipline might be imminent" for WR Martavis Bryant. Gehlken said the team refused to comment but that it is "awaiting final word on the situation" which is "believed to pertain to the NFL's substance-abuse policy." Bryant, of course, already lost the whole 2016 season to a drug suspension. So it's hard to imagine any further discipline in that area would be light. If Bryant goes down for a significant stretch, then Jordy Nelson would likely get pushed back outside from his slot role. That would leave Seth Roberts and Ryan Switzer to compete for snaps inside. We'll see how this one plays out.
Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins have been garnering the fantasy attention in the Colts backfield. But insider Stephen Holder warns not to rule out Robert Turbin. "If there’s one thing this offseason has shown, it’s that Turbin seems to have an important place on this football team," Holder writes. Turbin has been getting a bunch of 1st-team snaps this spring. But we wouldn't consider that a surprise considering Mack is sidelined after shoulder surgery and Hines and Wilkins are rookies. Still, HC Frank Reich talked up Turbin's "size and power and strength" this week. Holder believes Turbin is in line to play a short-yardage, goal-line role in what will be a full-blown committee backfield. It'll certainly be a situation to monitor when training camp opens, but we're not ready to call Turbin an option in fantasy drafts.
Bills WR Zay Jones is on track to be ready for the start of training camp, HC Sean McDermott said Thursday. Jones had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder in January and then another procedure on his knee in May. That followed a dreadful rookie campaign that saw him haul in just 27 of 74 targets (36.5%) for 316 yards and 2 scores. There's plenty of opportunity in a thin Bills WR corps, but Jones has a lot to prove.