Shark Bites

Eagles RB Ryan Mathews gained clearance from doctors Tuesday to return to the field, according to multiple reports. He had been out with a neck injury. General speculation is that the team will now release the veteran RB. Philly would have had to pay out an injury settlement if it wanted to dump Mathews before he gained medical clearance. We'll see if Mathews gets loose before projecting any further fantasy impact. Staying with the Eagles, meanwhile, would return him to a crowded backfield that lacks top-level performers.

Update: NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Eagles have told Mathews he's been released.

Redskins RB Keith Marshall tore the patella tendon in his right knee on Saturday, according to ESPN's John Keim. That's a brutal injury that could threaten Marshall's career. He already had a lengthy injury history, including a torn ACL in 2013 and an elbow injury that cost him his entire rookie campaign. Already off the redraft radar, Marshall certainly isn't a must-keep in dynasty leagues.

The Eagles have released WR Dorial Green-Beckham, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. DGB continued to disappoint in Philly last year, mustering just 392 yards and 2 TDs on 74 targets. He reportedly struggled this spring, which was evidently the nail in his coffin. Green-Beckham's size (6'5, 237 pounds), athleticism and age (24) will land him a job elsewhere, but he's well off the redraft radar for now.

Free-agent RB Karlos Williams has been suspended indefinitely by the league. We know of 2 violation's of the NFL's substance abuse policy -- and it sure looks like a 3rd resulted in this latest ban. Williams' impressive 2015 rookie season feels like a long, long time ago. He's still just 24, but his career is on the ropes.

The Colts placed RB Christine Michael on IR. He lasted just 2 weeks on the active roster. No word on Michael's injury, but at least we won't need to waste any more words on him this year. Robert Turbin and rookie Marlon Mack will battle for backup duties behind Frank Gore.

The Ravens have released TE Dennis Pitta, saving $2.5 million against the 2017 salary cap. The soon-to-be 32-year-old's career is likely over after suffering his 3rd major hip injury last week. Pitta will be replaced this season by some combination of Maxx Williams, Ben Watson, Crockett Gillmore and Darren Waller.

Fox Sports' Jennifer Hale reports that Saints DT Nick Fairley has had some recent tests revealing heart trouble that "could jeopardize [the] future of his career." Fairley has been absent from OTAs for undisclosed medical reasons, and even teammates have reportedly had trouble reaching him. This would be a huge development, especially for a guy who signed a 4-year, $28 million extension just this offseason. The New Orleans D doesn't hold much fantasy appeal, but Fairley enjoyed a run of IDP success last year. We'll see where this story goes.

Ravens TE Dennis Pitta suffered a dislocated hip in Friday's practice, according to multiple sources. ESPN's Adam Schefter calls surgery "likely" and says Pitta's "career is in jeopardy." It's the 3rd major hip injury for the soon-to-be 32-year-old. Baltimore's TE group is a mess without Pitta. Maxx Williams went catch-less in 4 games last year and is recovering from knee surgery. 36-year-old Ben Watson is attempting to return from a torn Achilles. And Crockett Gillmore dealt with back, shoulder and hamstring injuries last year. The Ravens figure to give a free agent like Gary Barnidge or Jacob Tamme a look. But a big chunk of the 121 targets Pitta leaves behind figure to go to Mike Wallace, Breshad Perriman and Danny Woodhead.

Ravens TE Dennis Pitta injured his hip in Friday's OTA session, the team announced. He's undergoing tests to determine the severity. Pitta missed all but 7 games between 2013 and 2015 with major injuries to both hips, so this doesn't look good. His absence would be a big blow to a Baltimore passing game that already lost 200 targets from a year ago with the departures of Steve Smith, Kamar Aiken and Kyle Juszczyk. Pitta led the Ravens with 121 targets. We'll pass along an update when we get one.

The Colts have signed RB Christine Michael. It's actually an intriguing landing spot for fantasy football's greatest enigma. Michael joins a backfield with 34-year-old Frank Gore, rookie Marlon Mack and journeyman Robert Turbin. He's simply failed too many times for us to get excited about him again.

The Jets have waived/injured WR Devin Smith. He'll likely go unclaimed and land on IR. Smith tore his ACL for the 2nd time as a pro in April. He's appeared in just 14 games since being selected in the 2nd round of the 2015 draft. He's still just 25, but his dynasty stock is fading fast.

The Steelers have released TE Ladarius Green. That they made the move now suggests that Green just wasn't making the progress the Steelers were hoping for. He missed all but 6 games last year with concussion and ankle issues. His 4 career concussions are obviously the bigger concern and have Green's career on the ropes. We'll continue to keep an eye on a guy who has difference-making potential when healthy. Jesse James, meanwhile, looks like Pittsburgh's starting TE moving forward. He's worth a look as a lower-end TE2 in best-ball drafts.

Steelers TE Ladarius Green is participating in the team's offseason workouts this week, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Green missed 10 games last year with ankle and concussion issues. He's suffered 4 concussions as a pro, clouding his football future. Pittsburgh is at least hoping he's able to return for the 2017 season. We'll see how Green fares throughout the rest of the spring and summer. He's a high-upside fantasy option when healthy.

The Packers have released RB Christine Michael. The writing was on the wall when Green Bay drafted 3 RBs over the weekend. Michael is still only 26 but has proven to be a fantasy football tease over the past 5 seasons. The Packers also released RB Don Jackson, leaving them with Ty Montgomery and rookies Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and Devante Mays.

Jets GM Mike McCagnan said Saturday that WR Devin Smith has torn his right ACL in OTA workouts. It's the 2nd tear of that ligament for Smith, a 2nd-round pick in 2015. It's tough to find optimism in the fantasy outlook for a deep threat with 2 tears in the same knee, especially when you combine that with a low-ceiling situation. Looks like time to give up on Smith even in dynasty leagues. We'll see where things go from here. The rest of the WR corps, meanwhile, looks quite open -- especially as we await Eric Decker's return from a pair of surgeries.

The Bengals spent a 6th-round pick Saturday on RB Brandon Wilson. The former Houston Cougar arrives as an intriguing athletic prospect short on backfield experience. Wilson wowed observers at his pro day with a 4.36-second 40 time, a 41-inch vertical and an 11'1 broad jump. In 2015, he was the only player in the nation to score multiple TDs on offense, defense and special teams, while seeing time at RB, DB and kick returner. We'll see where/if he fits in for the Bengals, who have Jeremy Hill heading into a contract year, Gio Bernard returning from injury and Joe Mixon toting off-field concerns.

Update: Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Bengals say Wilson will "compete for playing time at nickel, safety and on kick return." So he'll play DB, not RB.

The Patriots spent a 3rd-round pick Friday night on a potential sleeper for the edge. Youngstown State DE Derek Rivers racked up 37.5 sacks and 56.5 total tackles for loss over his 4 college seasons. That included 13 sacks as a sophomore and 14 as a senior. Rivers might need to bulk up from his 248 pounds to be ready for a regular edge role in New England, and we'll see whether the Patriots plan to align him at DE or OLB. But the Pats clearly aren't concerned about his lower level of college competition. This will be a high-upside target for IDP dynasty rookie drafts.

The Colts grabbed Ohio DE Tarell Basham in the NFL Draft's 3rd round Friday night. Basham tallied 27 sacks across 4 seasons for the Bobcats, including 7.5 as a freshman and 9 as a senior. He'll play OLB for the Colts and should quickly find playing time.

The Saints drafted Florida LB Alex Anzalone in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. Anzalone posted uninspiring numbers in college while dealing with multiple shoulder injuries and a broken left arm. He took a medical redshirt as a 2015 junior after his 2nd shoulder injury and then tallied just 53 total tackles in his lone starting season. Anzalone flashed his athleticism in Senior Bowl workouts and at the Combine, however. He ranked 77th percentile in the 40 and 86th percentile in the 3-cone drill at 6'3 and 241 pounds. We'll see how soon Anzalone can get on the field in a LB corps that has been seeking answers for a while.

The Eagles picked up Washington CB Sidney Jones in the NFL Draft's 2nd round. Jones might have been a 1st-round pick but suffered a ruptured Achilles' tendon during a pre-draft workout. We'd bet on him missing 2017, but we'll see if he can get back in time for 2018 offseason workouts.

 
 
 

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