Shark Bites

The Eagles have agreed to a 1-year deal with RB LeGarrette Blount, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. Blount toiled on the free-agent market for a while, despite coming off a season that saw him score a whopping 18 TDs. That, of course, was largely fueled by a high-octane Patriots offense. Blount also averaged just 3.9 yards per carry last year and turned 30 this past December. Still, he immediately becomes the best between-the-tackles runner in Philadelphia. And there should be plenty of scoring opportunities on a talented offense. This is a nice landing spot.

The Patriots this week applied a May 9 tender to RB LeGarrette Blount. It's a rarely used tool that doesn't keep Blount from signing with another team or mean that a signing team would have to send a draft pick to New England. Instead, signing Blount would work against his new team's compensatory-pick formula for 2018 and help that of the Patriots. For our purposes, it means that Blount could sign the tender at any stage and further crowd an already unwieldy New England backfield. Also, the tender means that Blount can only play for the Pats this season if he doesn't sign elsewhere by July 22. Count this as another interesting Patriots situation to watch.

The Eagles signed undrafted free agent RB Corey Clement on Saturday night. The former Wisconsin back closed out his college career with a 314-1,375-15 rushing line, but the 4.4 yards per rush marked the lowest rate of his career. Clement struggled to stay healthy curing his Badgers career and then delivered poor testing numbers at the Combine. The landing spot makes him interesting, though, as the Eagles boast 3 small RBs -- Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and Donnel Pumphrey -- an oft-injured veteran who might be a cap casualty this offseason (Ryan Mathews), Byron Marshall and Terrell Watson. There's room for Clement to carve out a role with a strong summer.

After the Eagles drafted WR Mack Hollins in Round 4, some posited that they grabbed him primarily for the special teams value. GM Howie Roseman said that wasn't the motivation, however, according to Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. While calling that a plus, Roseman reportedly said they drafted the 6'4 wideout because he brings "starter potential." Hollins will be interesting to watch in a young offense and will carry upside late in dynasty rookie drafts.

The Eagles added some speed to their WR corps in the 5th round with WR Shelton Gibson. The West Virginia product averaged a sizzling 22.6 yards per catch across 3 college seasons. The last 2 resulted in lines of 37-887-9 and 43-951-8. Gibson also returned 53 career kickoffs with 1 TD. He disappointed with a 4.50-second 40 at the Combine but was clocked in the 4.4s at his Pro Day. (He plays like a 4.4 guy.) The 5’11, 191-pounder will never be a high-volume guy but could certainly emerge as a guy with weekly fantasy upside. Of course, he’s well off the 2017 redraft radar in a loaded Eagles WR corps.

The Eagles grabbed San Diego State RB Donnel Pumphrey in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The pint-sized 5’8, 176-pounder was a college workhorse, compiling an FBS record 6,405 rushing yards on 1,059 totes over the past 4 years. Pumphrey also caught 99 balls. The size is obviously a concern, though, and he tested as a 15th percentile athlete for his position. On the plus side, Pumphrey can learn a lot from — and eventually replace — new teammate Darren Sproles.

The Eagles added North Carolina WR Mack Hollins in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He totaled 65 catches, 1,358 yards and 16 scores across 2014 and 2015 before missing time this past year with a collarbone injury that required surgery. Hollins is a big 6'4, 221-pounder and is considered 1 of the better blockers and special teamers in this year's WR class. There's some long-term upside here, but Hollins figures to be buried in Philadelphia's deep WR group this season.

The Eagles spent their 1st-round pick on Tennessee DE Derek Barnett. He joins a defense that dumped DE Connor Barwin in the offseason, but Philly still sports Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry at the position, and added Chris Long this offseason. Barnett still has a shot to start right away and should at least quickly earn a role in the rotation. He'll make for a solid dynasty IDP selection, with 2017 upside in redraft.

ESPN's Josina Anderson reports that the Eagles have reached a 1-year deal with WR Alshon Jeffery worth $14 million. The fact that he settled for a 1-year deal suggests that teams weren't keen on committing long-term money to the former Bear. The 1-year term can only help the motivation for a player's whose drive has been questioned since he was entering the league. Jeffery just turned 27 in February and should be in his prime. He has delivered quality fantasy numbers when healthy but lost 11 games to injury over the past 2 seasons. Carson Wentz looks like an upgrade over the QB collage that piloted a sluggish Bears pass offense through last season, and Philly ranked 6th in the league in pass attempts. The overall target picture looks nice, but Jeffery will need to compete with WR Jordan Matthews and TE Zach Ertz for top honors. Wentz, meanwhile, has seen significant upgrades to his pass-catching corps on the 1st day of the 2017 league year. He could challenge for fantasy's top 12 at the position this year.

The Eagles have agreed to a 3-year, $15 million deal with WR Torrey Smith. Philly trotted out 1 of the weaker WR corps in the league last year, with no field-stretching presence. Smith will change that. He owns a career 17.0 yards-per-catch average with 25 receptions of 40+ yards across 6 seasons. Smith struggled the past 2 years in San Francisco but remains just 28 and will get much better QB play in Philadelphia. We'll see exactly how the WR depth chart shakes out with Smith, Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham.

The 49ers have released WR Torrey Smith. A big free-agent signing back in 2015, Smith mustered just 930 yards and 7 TDs in 2 seasons in San Francisco. QB play was more to blame than the limitations in Smith's game. Still just 28, he's capable of bouncing back in a more favorable situation. The 'Niners, meanwhile, are left with Jeremy Kerley, Bruce Ellington and DeAndre Smelter atop their WR depth chart. They'll add to the position in free agency and/or the draft.

The Raiders are "not optimistic" about QB Matt McGloin's availability for next weekend's Wild Card game in Houston, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. McGloin is dealing with an injury is to his trapezius, which is "acting like a pinched nerve," per Rapoport. If he can't go vs. the Texans, Oakland will be left with 4th-round rookie QB Connor Cook. He completed 14 of 21 passes for 150 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT in relief of McGloin in Denver. Cook might not be a significant downgrade from McGloin, but it'd be a massive challenge if his 1st career start comes in a road playoff game.

Raiders QB Matt McGloin suffered a shoulder injury in the 1st half of Sunday's game against the Broncos and is officially questionable to return. With Derek Carr out, Oakland is down to rookie QB Connor Cook.

11:55am EST 1/1/17

Eagles MLB Jordan Hicks (ankle) is active for today's finale against the Cowboys. He's OK to use as normal if he was in your IDP plans. OLB Mychal Kendricks (quad) is inactive, removing any chance of coaches taking a look at the underperforming former 2nd-round pick heading into the offseason. Kendricks remains signed through 2019, but his $4.35 million salary for next year becomes guaranteed on the 3rd day of the 2017 league calendar (which begins in March). That makes him look like a strong candidate for release this winter. A good landing spot and healthy offseason could put Kendricks back into dynasty consideration.

Eagles WR Jordan Matthews (ankle) is inactive for today’s game against the Cowboys. That leaves Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham as Philly’s top 2 WRs. Neither is a reliable fantasy option.

Eagles WR Jordan Matthews (ankle) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Cowboys, but ESPN's Adam Caplan reports that he's "more to the doubtful side to play." Matthews has been dealing with the ankle issue for a while and doesn't need to push it in the meaningless finale. His absence would leave Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham as Philly's top 2 WRs. TE Zach Ertz would be the best bet for targets, though.

Eagles WR Jordan Matthews (ankle) is questionable for this weekend’s game against the Cowboys. He only put in a limited practice on Friday and could be held out of the meaningless finale. Check back Sunday at noon ET for his status.

Eagles RB Byron Marshall will have an expanded role in Sunday's finale vs. the Cowboys, HC Doug Pederson said. Marshall and Darren Sproles are the only healthy RBs on the roster right now. We could see something close to a 50/50 split between those guys. We still prefer Sproles in fantasy lineups, but Marshall is on the RB3/flex radar. The undrafted rookie goes 5'9, 201 pounds and played WR in his final season at Oregon.

Eagles RB Ryan Mathews has been diagnosed with a herniated disc and "will miss significant time," HC Doug Pederson said Friday. Mathews will finish the 2016 campaign with 661 yards and 8 TDs on 155 carries -- and another 3 games missed due to injury. We'll see if Philly brings him back at a $4 million salary next year. Darren Sproles and Byron Marshall will handle backfield duties for the Eagles in the season finale against the Cowboys.

Eagles RB Ryan Mathews suffered a stinger in the 4th quarter of Thursday night's win over the Giants. He mustered just 62 scoreless yards on 19 touches before exiting. We'll track Mathews' status this coming week. If he can't play in the finale vs. Dallas, Philly would be down to RBs Darren Sproles and Byron Marshall.

 
 
 

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