Rams WR Sammy Watkins left in the 4th quarter of Thursday night's game against the 49ers and was diagnosed with a concussion, HC Sean McVay said after the win. It's the 1st concussion of his NFL career, and he'll have 10 days to get cleared ahead of next weekend's game against the Cowboys. We'll track his progress through the protocol. Watkins went off for 106 yards and 2 TDs before exiting.
The Rams finally have themselves a true #1 WR. They traded CB E.J. Gaines and a 2018 2nd-round pick to Buffalo in exchange for WR Sammy Watkins. It's an aggressive move by a team that has poured resources into its offense this offseason. Watkins joins a WR group that includes free-agent signee (and former teammate) Robert Woods, rookies Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds and holdover Tavon Austin. A heathy Watkins is clearly the top dog here, though. Of course, he'll also be dealing with a QB downgrade from Tyrod Taylor to Jared Goff. Watkins' fantasy stock takes a bit of a hit with this move.
The Bills made a pair of blockbuster trades on Friday afternoon. They sent WR Sammy Watkins and a 6th-round pick to the Rams in exchange for CB E.J. Gaines and a 2018 2nd-round pick. Then they acquired WR Jordan Matthews and a 2018 3rd-rounder from the Eagles in exchange for CB Ronald Darby. Whoah. This is a downgrade in WR talent for the Bills, although Matthews has obviously been more reliable from a durability standpoint. We'll see how he fits into an offense that also just signed slot WR Anquan Boldin. Although Matthews is moving to a run-heavier offense than the 1 he was part of in Philly, he looks like the best bet for targets in Buffalo.
Bills WR Sammy Watkins (foot) has avoided the PUP list and will participate in the team's 1st training camp practice on Thursday night. It's been a smooth rehab from January foot surgery. Buffalo figures to monitor Watkins' reps throughout August, but his fantasy arrow is pointing up right now.
Bills WR Sammy Watkins (foot) made his offseason practice debut on Thursday, taking part in individual drills. (Here's a video clip of him in action.) "It's one day at a time at this point," HC Sean McDermott said of Watkins' status. He underwent a 2nd foot surgery in January after reportedly playing through a broken foot last season. It at least looks like he's on track to be ready for the start of training camp. Watkins' health will be worth monitoring closely this summer.
Bills QB Tyrod Taylor told the team website that he has noticed the "maturation process" speeding up for WR Sammy Watkins this offseason. "His attention to detail each day has definitely been different than the years past that I’ve been around him," Taylor said. "He’s always been a hard worker, but you can definitely tell that he’s out there with the right mindset and with the positive attitude, trying to help the guys that are around him.” The QB specifically mentioned aspects such as eating right, which is often a lesson young players need to learn -- in various sports. Watkins' big problem has obviously been staying on the field, and eating a salad or some salmon isn't going to keep his foot from breaking. But preparing his body better could certainly affect Watkins' health and durability. In any event, increased focus -- and the motivation of a contract year -- can't hurt a player who has always flashed the talent.
The Bills have declined the 5th-year option on WR Sammy Watkins' contract. That year -- along with the $13 or so million it would have paid him -- is guaranteed for injury only prior to the start of the 2018 league year. So Buffalo is (perhaps rightfully) worried that Watkins will suffer another serious injury. He's now set to become a free agent next offseason. Getting out of run-heavy Buffalo might help Watkins' fantasy stock. Rookie Zay Jones, meanwhile, could find himself as the Bills' #1 WR as soon as next year.
Bills QB Tyrod Taylor has been medically cleared from his January groin surgery, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Buffalo has until March 11 to decide whether to pick up Taylor's $27.5M option bonus. Reports on whether they'll do so have been all over the board. If they don't, it'd start another rebuilding process at the position for the Bills. That'd be bad news for WR Sammy Watkins.
The Bills have hired Rick Dennison as OC. Dennison spent the past 2 years as Denver's OC under Gary Kubiak -- and also coordinated Kubiak's Texans offenses from 2010 to 2013. It's notable that Dennison worked with Tyrod Taylor as Baltimore's QB coach in 2014. We'll see if Taylor is Dennison's QB in Buffalo in 2017 and beyond.
The Bills have hired Sean McDermott as their HC. He's spent the past 8 seasons as a defensive coordinator -- 1st in Philadelphia, then in Carolina -- but has no HC experience. McDermott and the Bills should make an OC hire within the next couple of weeks.
Bills WR Sammy Watkins will undergo another foot surgery this week, according to the Buffalo News' Tim Graham. Watkins went under the knife to repair his fractured foot back in April and was reportedly playing through a still-broken foot when he returned in Week 12. It's unclear how long he'll be sidelined this go-around, but Watkins will be 1 of the biggest injury risks in 2017 fantasy drafts. On top of the foot, he's dealt with rib, groin, hip, calf and ankle issues through his first 3 NFL seasons.
The Bills have fired HC Rex Ryan and DC Rob Ryan. The news is only surprising in that it came before this weekend's season finale. Ryan finishes his 2-year Bills tenure with a 15-16 record. OC Anthony Lynn will take over as interim HC and reportedly has a shot to earn the full-time gig next season.
Bills WR Sammy Watkins managed just 1 reception for 10 yards among 4 targets in Sunday's win over the Browns. Tyrod Taylor attempted just 24 throws in the game (plus 1 more from EJ Manuel), but Watkins still saw WR Marquise Goodwin match his target count and TE Charles Clay beat it by 3. Watkins also saw his playing time dip to 63% of the offensive snaps after he topped 90% the week before. He remains in play for a Week 16 battle with Miami, but keep the risk in mind as you weigh Watkins against your other options.
The forecast for today's Browns-Bills game calls for a slight chance of snow but winds of 20-30 mph. That's certainly enough to impact the passing games. Hopefully you're not relying on any part of Cleveland's passing attack. Downgrade Bills QB Tyrod Taylor and WR Sammy Watkins a tad, but both are still fine fantasy starters. Expect a heavy dose of RB LeSean McCoy today.
Bills WR Sammy Watkins saw just 6 targets but caught 4 for 54 yards and 1 TD vs. Pittsburgh. Watkins scored on a pass over the middle on 3rd and goal. Game flow set up favorably here — Buffalo played from behind in the 2nd half — but Tyrod Taylor labored through another shaky outing. Watkins does retain major fantasy upside next week against the lowly Browns.
The forecast for today's Steelers-Bills game calls for 1-3 inches of snow and winds of 10-15 mph. Those certainly aren't ideal conditions for the passing and kicking games, but it's also not enough for us to lower the projections for anyone involved. Use the weather as a tiebreaker if deciding between 2 similarly ranked guys.
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