Player Notes

  • Evan Engram lining up 'everywhere' at OTAs
    Giants first-round TE Evan Engram has been lining up "everywhere" at OTAs.

    Advice: According to beat man Dan Duggan, Engram played traditional in-line tight end, in the slot, out wide, and even some H-back. While OC Mike Sullivan has said Engram will be taught to play as an in-line tight end, the Giants' best bet to maximize Engram's skill set is to use him to create mismatches against smaller cornerbacks and slower linebackers. We doubt Engram provides much from a fantasy standpoint as a rookie, but he has some Jordan Reed to his game. Today, 6:45 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Maxx Williams recovering from rare operation
    Ravens TE Maxx Williams is recovering from a knee surgery "no other football player has had," but is expected to be ready for training camp.

    Advice: That was the extent of coach John Harbaugh's update. Williams went down with a knee injury last Week 4, finishing the year on injured reserve with little in the way of update. The ailment was initially described as a "cartilage issue." The No. 55 overall pick of the 2015 draft, Williams was a playmaker in college, but has been an NFL bust so far. Yesterday, 11:41 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Gronk cleared to be on the practice field
    Rob Gronkowski (back) has been cleared to be on the field at practice.

    Advice: Gronk's recovery has been progressing well, and he was on the field with the Patriots for the first time today. Gronk might be limited throughout the offseason program, but this is good news as he gets "ready to roll" into the rest of the preseason. Gronk's injury history is well documented, but the Patriots have shown confidence in him by restructuring his contract this week. Gronkowski should be fully ready for the Patriots' opener. Yesterday, 8:46 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Bills 'concerned' about Charles Clay's knee
    Coach Sean McDermott said the Bills are "concerned with Charles (Clay's) knee situation."

    Advice: Clay was signed as a highly paid restricted free agent in 2015, but has had "chronic" knee trouble since. Coach McDermott said they will be cautious with Clay moving forward, and will continue to manage his reps. Battling his knee problems last year, Clay missed several practices and was listed as questionable for most games. The injury will be something to monitor this offseason. Yesterday, 8:33 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Report: Rams will feature TEs in passing game
    NFL Network's Steve Wyche reports the Rams plan to run a "tight-end-centric passing game."

    Advice: It is not a surprising report considering Washington targeted a tight end on 26 percent (seventh-highest) of their attempts last season under Rams coach Sean McVay. Along with last year's fourth-rounder Tyler Higbee, second-round pick Gerald Everett gives the Rams two potentially dynamic weapons at tight end. Without much talent at receiver, it makes sense for the Rams to feature them if they are ready to step up. Tuesday, 5:44 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • First-round TE O.J. Howard signs rookie deal
    Bucs signed first-round TE O.J. Howard to a four-year contract.

    Advice: As with all first-rounders, Howard's deal includes a team option for a fifth year. Howard is a rare talent at tight end who matches a video-game body and athleticism with dominant blocking ability. Rookie tight ends rarely contribute in fantasy, but Howard's skill set at least gives him a chance. Monday, 9:50 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Vance McDonald may not make final roster?
    The San Francisco Chronicle's Eric Branch writes "it wouldn’t be a surprise" if 49ers TE Vance McDonald does not make the final roster.

    Advice: The 49ers openly attempted to trade McDonald during the draft, but cutting him for nothing is another story, one which would cost the 49ers cap space this year or leave dead money in 2018 depending on how the move is designated. It is still unclear why outgoing-GM Trent Baalke was allowed to give McDonald a five-year, $35-million extension last December, and it looks like the 49ers will have to eat some money to reverse that poor decision. Monday, 8:59 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Grimble's snaps doubled without Ladarius
    Steelers TE Xavier Grimble's snaps more than doubled without Ladarius Green in the lineup last season.

    Advice: Grimble's snaps jumped from 6.3 to 14.2 per game without Green, and he was playing 19.9 snaps a game before injuring his ribs. Following the decision to cut Green this week, the Steelers are again left with questions at tight end. Jesse James is the favorite to take over the starting role as he did last season, but Grimble is a more like-for-like replacement who showed well on limited targets last year. Grimble will be a name to watch during camp. Saturday, 8:49 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Broncos are 'very high on what Derby can do''s Andrew Mason said the organization is "very high on what (TE A.J) Derby can do."

    Advice: The Broncos took a shot on Michigan's Jake Butt in the fifth-round of this year's draft, but the rookie will be out until at least August recovering from a torn ACL. Even when Butt returns, Mason notes he is a different tight end that Derby, who is more of a glorified slot receiver than an in-line option. Considering how much the Chargers utilized tight ends under new OC Mike McCoy, there should be room for both even when Butt is healthy and ready to contribute. Saturday, 6:39 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Ladarius Green hoping to play in 2017
    Free agent TE Ladarius Green is hoping to play this season.

    Advice: Green was released with a failed physical designation after dealng with concussion and ankle issues last season. It sounds like he wants to continue his career, but he's not a lock to get medically cleared. There likely won't be more clarity on Green's status until closer to training camp. Friday, 2:31 pm
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Bears ink second-rounder Adam Shaheen
    Bears signed second-round TE Adam Shaheen to a four-year contract.

    Advice: That leaves first-round QB Mitchell Trubisky as Bears' only unsigned draft pick. Shaheen was a surprising selection at 45th overall after playing college ball at Division II Ashland. The 23-year-old is a giant at 6'7/278 but he faces a steep learning curve jumping from D2 to the pros. Friday, 12:20 pm
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Jets TE Jordan Leggett signs rookie deal
    Jets signed fifth-round TE Jordan Leggett to a four-year contract.

    Advice: Leggett is not a particularly good blocker or athlete and reportedly struggled at rookie camp, but he has a shot at early playing time with Austin Seferian-Jenkins facing a two-game suspension to begin the year and not much else on the depth chart. Even so, he is only a factor in Dynasty formats. Thursday, 9:47 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Rob Housler released with failed physical
    Patriots released TE Rob Housler with a failed physical designation.

    Advice: Housler was signed to a reserve/future deal in January. He pulled a hamstring in voluntary workouts, but was never a strong candidate for a spot behind Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen. Housler is in danger of falling out of the league. Wednesday, 2:20 pm
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Ben Watson reiterates he's ahead of schedule
    Ben Watson (Achilles') reiterated he's ahead of schedule in his rehab.

    Advice: Watson called the recovery the "toughest, longest and most strenuous rehab" of his career after tearing his Achilles' last preseason. "I'm at the point now where I'm very close," Watson said. "I'm able to do pretty much everything to some extent." Watson is the elder statesman of a crowded tight end group in Baltimore. Perhaps due to the team's lack of quality receiver depth, Baltimore could use more two- and three-tight end sets on offense this season. Wednesday, 6:06 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Jonnu Smith signs his rookie contract
    Titans signed third-round TE Jonnu Smith to a four-year contract.

    Advice: A four-year starter at Florida International, Smith caught 178 career passes. Standing in at 6-foot-3, 248 pounds, Smith tore up the Combine, posting eye-popping numbers across the board. Smith can be a body catcher, but is an all-around prospect in a deceptively-good landing spot. Delanie Walker turns 33 in August. Smith is worth a late-round flier in rookie drafts. Tuesday, 2:54 pm
    Week 1 Projected Rank
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