Lions RB Theo Riddick had surgery on both wrists, according to insider Dave Birkett. Riddick missed the final 4 games of last season with the issue, but we don't know exactly when went under the knife -- or exactly what the surgery repaired. Birkett says, though, that Riddick is expected to be a full participant in OTAs. As long as that's the case, there won't be any reason to worry about his 2017 outlook. Riddick finished 18th among RBs in PPR points in 2015 and 8th in PPR points per game last year.
WR Brian Quick has signed a 1-year deal with the Redskins. The 2012 2nd-rounder boasts an intriguing blend of size and athleticism, but it's yet to translate to on-field production. He totaled just 105 catches and 10 TDs in 5 seasons with the Rams, although QB play was at least partly to blame for those muted numbers. Quick joins a much better passing game in Washington. And the departures of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon leave behind 214 targets. The 'Skins, of course, signed WR Terrelle Pryor earlier this month and return WRs Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson. Quick is most likely to settle in as the #4, but he'll at least be worth monitoring this summer.
The Panthers have inked RB Jonathan Stewart to a 1-year extension. He was set to hit free agency next offseason but is now signed in Carolina through the 2018 campaign. Stewart turned 30 a few days ago and averaged just 3.8 yards per carry last year, so this is a curious move. He's the favorite, at least at this point, to serve as Carolina's lead back in 2017. But the Panthers are still a candidate to add a RB early in next month's draft.
The Vikings signed WR Adam Thielen to a 4-year, $19.2 million extension. He was a restricted free agent this offseason and set to hit unrestricted free agency next offseason. The new deal is a reward for a breakout 2016 campaign that saw Thielen rack up 69 catches, 967 yards and 5 TDs. Of course, a huge chunk of that production -- 12 catches, 202 yards and 2 TDs -- came in a Week 16 explosion in Green Bay. Thielen reached 70 yards in just 3 of his other 15 games. The contract extension is a sign, though, that Minnesota sees him as a key part of its passing game going forward. Thielen, Stefon Diggs and Laquon Treadwell will battle for standing on the depth chart this summer.
The Bears have signed QB Mark Sanchez to a 1-year deal. The 30-year-old has settled in as an NFL backup, which is what he'll be in Chicago after the Bears handed QB Mike Glennon $18.5 million guaranteed. With Glennon, Sanchez, David Fales and Connor Shaw all under contract, it seems unlikely that Chicago will draft a QB with the 3rd overall pick next month.
Falcons WR Julio Jones is expected to be ready for the start of training camp, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Jones underwent what was deemed a minor foot surgery on March 6. He was in a boot but getting around without crutches at an appearance on Wednesday. “I’m good,” Jones said. "My thing right now is recovery." We'll continue to track his progress. For now, there's no reason to believe the procedure will impact Jones' 2017 campaign.
The Jets have signed WR Quinton Patton. A 4th-rounder of the 49ers back in 2013, Patton has totaled just 73 catches across his first 4 NFL seasons. Half of those came last year, when he tallied 37 catches for 408 yards. There's opportunity in New York, where Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa sit behind Eric Decker on the depth chart. But Patton has shown no reason to expect a fantasy breakout.
The Packers have re-signed RB Christine Michael. We didn't hear of any other teams showing interest in the 26-year-old. Michael appeared in 8 games for Green Bay last season (including the playoffs), mustering just 3.7 yards per carry on 47 totes. The Packers' backfield currently sports just Michael, Ty Montgomery and Don Jackson -- so there's opportunity here. But Michael has mostly disappointed since entering the league in 2013. It seems unwise to bank on that trend changing in 2017.
The Vikings announced that RB Latavius Murray underwent ankle surgery on Wednesday. The team was aware of the issue when it signed Murray to a 3-year, $15 million deal last week. We don't have any details on Murray's injury or the procedure, but the Vikings expect him to be back to 100% for the start of training camp. Still, missing OTAs and minicamp with his new team isn't ideal.
The Jaguars have signed TE Mychal Rivera to a 2-year deal. The 2013 6th-rounder racked up 96 catches over his first 2 seasons in Oakland but averaged just 9.8 yards per grab. He was phased out by TE Clive Walford the past 2 years, totaling just 50 catches. Rivera is a classic JAG -- "just a guy." He could carve out a role in a weak Jacksonville TE group, but Rivera is unlikely to be a fantasy asset.
Vikings HC Mike Zimmer sounds like he plans to use RB Latavius Murray as a feature back. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Zimmer lauded Murray's strength in the run game, receiving ability and even pass protection. "Not having to substitute him on third downs (will be) big," Zimmer said. Of course, Minnesota's weak O-line didn't help any RB deliver much fantasy value last year. We'll see how this situation develops, but expect Murray to land toward the bottom of RB2 territory when our 2017 projections come out
The Bears have signed RB Benny Cunningham. The 26-year-old was decent in a backup role for the Rams over the past 4 seasons, averaging 4.4 yards per carry and totaling 93 catches. He's no threat to RB Jordan Howard's starting job in Chicago, but he could steal some passing-down work. Howard hauled in a subpar 58% of his targets as a rookie last year after mustering just 24 catches over 3 college seasons.
The Dolphins have agreed to a 3-year extension with LB Kiko Alonso. The Miami Herald reports that it's a $28.8 million deal, while the Palm Beach Post reports that it includes $18.5 million in guarantees. That's all for a guy the Dolphins could have kept on a 1-year RFA deal. Miami's committed here. And the team clearly likes recent signee Lawrence Timmons as well. We'd bet on both filling 3-down roles, regardless of who settles into the middle and who plays the weak side. Both players carry top-24 IDP potential among LBs.
Panthers QB Cam Newton will undergo surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder on March 30, the team announced. The injury reportedly occurred in Carolina's Week 14 game against the Chargers. Newton completed just 10 of 27 passes for 160 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT in that one. He played in the final 3 games, completing 50.9% of his passes and averaging 245 yards, 1.3 TDs and 1.7 INTs per game. It certainly seems like the injury impacted his play, but it doesn't explain Newton's struggles prior to Week 14. He completed only 54.7% of his passes and averaged 238 yards, 1.3 TDs and .7 INTs in 11 games before the injury. The Panthers hoped rest and rehab would heal Newton's shoulder, but he was still experiencing pain when he resumed throwing earlier this month. So he'll go under the knife. Newton will resume throwing 12 weeks after surgery (late June) and is expected to be ready for the start of training camp. We'll track his recovery.
Chargers WR Keenan Allen (knee) expects to be ready in plenty of time for training camp. That's been the expectation considering his torn ACL came in early September. He'll be nearly 11 months removed when camp opens. Allen has already resumed running and cutting. Turning just 25 in April, he's a strong bet to bounce back from the knee injury. The bigger concern for Allen is volume in what's become a loaded Chargers passing attack.
The Giants have signed RB Shaun Draughn. The 29-year-old has bandied about the league for the past 6 seasons, never making a fantasy impact. His most extensive action came in San Francisco over the last 2 years. He handled 150 total carries but mustered just 459 yards -- an ugly 3.06 yards per carry. Draughn does have some pass-catching ability -- 54 grabs over the past 2 seasons -- but Shane Vereen figures to get the 1st crack at those duties. Draughn is unlikely to emerge as a fantasy option in 2017.
WR Kamar Aiken is set to sign with the Colts, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Aiken disappeared in Baltimore last year but tallied a 75-944-5 line in 2015. He turns just 28 in May. T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief are locked in as Indy's top 2 WRs, but Aiken could certainly push Phillip Dorsett for the #3 gig. Dorsett has disappointed since being selected in the 1st round of the 2015 draft, totaling just 51 catches, 753 yards and 3 TDs through 2 seasons.
The Chargers have agreed to terms with RB Kenjon Barner. He's now bounced around to 3 different teams in 5 NFL seasons and has totaled just 331 yards on 77 touches. If this is all the Chargers plan on adding to the backfield, RB Melvin Gordon is in for huge volume in 2017.
The Jets have signed QB Josh McCown to a 1-year, $6 million deal. He joins Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty in the QB room. Neither of the youngsters seem ready to start, so it might be a 38-year-old McCown under center for the Jets come Week 1. He appeared in 5 games for the Browns last year, completing an ugly 54.5% of his passes with 6 TDs and 6 INTs. McCown had been better over the previous few seasons, but it's quite possible he's simply out of gas at this point.
The Steelers have signed RB Knile Davis. It's notable if only because RB DeAngelo Williams remains a free agent. Another Le'Veon Bell injury could find Davis as the lead back in a high-scoring offense. We emphasize "could," though, because he's certainly no lock to win the backup gig. Davis has failed to top 3.5 yards per carry in any of his 4 NFL seasons.
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