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Football Daily Dose

Dose: Jimmy Graham Unhappy?

by Nick Mensio
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Jimmy Graham posted a very respectable six catches for 51 yards and one touchdown in his Week 1 debut with the Seahawks, but he was mostly an afterthought in the first half before reeling in a couple passes and his score after halftime. Onto Week 2, Graham wasn’t even part of the game plan against the Packers, seeing just two targets and not catching his lone pass until the third quarter.

Former CBS Sports writer and current Bleacher Report staffer, Mike Freeman, reports that Graham is “pissed off” and “hates” his role with the Seahawks. According to Freeman, “several” Seahawks players have informed him of Graham’s unhappiness. Freeman goes as far to call this a “fact.” So, that at least makes this an interesting story and gives us a chance to take a look at Graham’s numbers through two weeks of play with his new squad if nothing else.

When Graham was dealt by the Saints to the Seahawks in exchange for C Max Unger and Seattle’s 2015 first-round pick, the first thing that popped to mind was Graham wasn’t going to see nearly as much pass volume in Seattle as he did in pass-happy New Orleans. Ideally, the Seahawks prefer to be a run-first team. But through two weeks, Russell Wilson has attempted 71 passes. He only attempted more than 30 passes in back-to-back games two times in his career before now. With Wilson attempting more passes, one would assume that’d be good news for Graham. However, Graham has only been targeted 10 times total, which is 15th among tight ends. He’s TE17 and has fewer PPR points than guys named Crockett Gillmore, Anthony Fasano, and Richard Rodgers. The explosion of the tight end across the league the first two weeks only makes matters worse for Graham owners.

According to Freeman, Graham is on the verge of blowing up off the field if he doesn’t start getting the ball on it. It’s not like Graham is blocking more in Seattle than he was in New Orleans; he blocked on 30.5 percent of his 2014 snaps and is only blocking on 31.7 percent of them to start this year. But he needs to be more involved as a pass catcher. Fantasy owners have no choice but to hold onto Graham. Selling him now would be taking pennies on the dollar. With the Seahawks installed as two-touchdown favorites for their upcoming home opener against the Bears in Week 3, it would make sense for OC Darrell Bevell to spoon-feed Graham some targets in a “squeaky wheel gets the grease” game. The Bears have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to tight ends through two weeks, but have faced only Richard Rodgers and Darren Fells. Graham could pop off in a game Seattle has a 29.5-point Vegas team total as the projected second-highest scoring team of Week 3.

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Injury Notes

Injuries came hot and heavy in Week 2, so I’ll quickly touch on a handful of players here before we get to the quick hits below. Andre Ellington suffered a sprained PCL in Week 1, but has started running again. Coach Bruce Arians said he’s hopeful Ellington will be back Week 4. Expect Chris Johnson to start Week 3 against the 49ers, but Arians has said rookie sensation David Johnson’s role will continue to grow each week. Ellington’s return will further clutter this backfield.

Eddie Lacy was carted off the field Sunday night with an ankle injury. X-rays came back negative, but Lacy is said to be very sore at the onset of this week. Lacy is “hoping” to play Week 3 against the Chiefs, and he gets the benefit of an extra day of rest with the Packers kicking off on Monday night. Lacy plans to take it easy Wednesday before testing his ankle at Thursday’s practice. If Lacy can’t play, James Starks should handle the bulk of the backfield work.

Eric Decker made his way to the locker room late in Monday night’s Week 2 win over the Colts. He’s believed to be battling a sprained PCL, and coach Todd Bowles called Decker “day-to-day” on Tuesday. Decker hinted he may take a cautious approach. It’s possible he misses Week 3 before returning the following week. If he sits, Brandon Marshall would be a near-lock for double-digit targets against the Eagles. Quincy Enunwa, Chris Owusu, and Devin Smith could all see increased roles.

Bucs sophomore Austin Seferian-Jenkins has been diagnosed with a strained shoulder and will miss 4-6 weeks. It’s a big hiccup for Seferian-Jenkins after displaying some chemistry with Jameis Winston the first two weeks. Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson should see even more looks in the pass game. Brandon Myers and Luke Stocker are the Bucs’ Nos. 2 and 3 tight ends, but not fantasy options.

Drew Brees suffered a bruised rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder Week 2 against the Bucs. He’s seeking a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, but there’s reportedly a “reasonable possibility” Brees can play Week 3 against the division-rival Panthers. We’ll have to keep an eye on Brees during practice this week. Commercial star Luke McCown would start if Brees can’t play.

One of the toughest players of this era, Jason Witten is said to be battling two sprained ankles and a sprained knee that may force him to miss his first game since 2006. (Like the Cowboys need any more bad injury news.) If Witten can’t suit up, Gavin Escobar would take on starter’s work.

 

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Quarterback & Running Back Quick Slants

The Cowboys acquired Matt Cassel from the Bills in exchange for a 2017 fifth-rounder. He’ll start out as the No. 3 behind tentative starter Brandon Weeden and freshly-signed Kellen Moore from the practice squad. Dallas, of course, placed Tony Romo (clavicle) on I.R./designated for return on Tuesday. … Bears promoted QB David Fales from their practice squad to be Jimmy Clausen’s backup while Jay Cutler (hamstring) is out. … Ravens waived RB Terrence Magee. … The Jets weren’t sure if Chris Ivory (groin) was going to make it through Monday night’s Week 2 win over the Colts. Now on a short week, Ivory is said to be “real sore.” … Coach Todd Bowles confirmed Ryan Fitzpatrick will remain the starter when Geno Smith (jaw) is healthy. … The Browns plan to stick with a committee in the backfield, even after Isaiah Crowell averaged 4.8 YPC in the Week 2 win. … Colts waived RB Vick Ballard with an injury settlement. … Cardinals waived RB Kerwynn Williams. … Josh McCown is expected to pass his concussion tests this week, but it’s unclear if he’ll regain his starting job from Johnny Manziel. … Coach Jay Gruden believes Kirk Cousins has become “more poised” this season. Gruden also praised rookie RB Matt Jones’ “rare combination of size and speed.” … Devonta Freeman will be the Falcons’ starting running back with Tevin Coleman (rib) out. … The Rams don’t plan to rush Todd Gurley’s (knee) timetable despite the team’s struggles in the run game. Gurley may make his debut this week.

Wide Receiver & Tight End Quick Slants

Roddy White blames his catch-less Week 2 on “just not getting the ball,” insisting he was “open.” … Coach Jeff Fisher confirmed Brian Quick is physically healthy to play despite being inactive the first two games. … Eagles WR Josh Huff said the Cowboys were calling out the Eagles’ plays from the sideline in Week 2. … Suspended WR Martavis Bryant has been working with substance-abuse counselor John Lucas. … Free agent Terrelle Pryor worked out for the Jets on Tuesday. … Jordan Reed (quad) is no longer on the Redskins’ injury report. He’s second among tight ends in targets through two weeks. … Jaguars placed WR Rashad Greene (thumb) on I.R./designated for return and re-signed WR Bryan Walters. … The Giants released WR Preston Parker. Rueben Randle believes he may see more snaps from the slot following Parker’s release. … DeSean Jackson (hamstring) is still sidelined at practice. … Victor Cruz (calf) ran and did agility drills at practice Tuesday. He’s aiming for a Week 4 return. … Ty Montgomery’s Week 2 play may force the Packers to use more four-wide sets to get him in the game. … Breshad Perriman (knee) was running routes at half speed ahead of the Ravens’ Week 2 game against the Raiders. … Bears signed WR Deonte Thompson to their practice squad.

Nick Mensio

Nick Mensio has been covering the NFL for NBC Sports Edge since 2012. He can be found on Twitter at @NickMensio.