The Raiders have placed LB Nicholas Morrow on the COVID list, where he joins Nick Kwiatkoski. That leaves Vegas with Cory Littleton, Raekwon McMillan and Kyle Wilber as the top 3 LBs. None is a strong IDP bet.
The Raiders on Wednesday placed LB Nick Kwiatkoski on the COVID list. It's not yet clear whether he tested positive or was merely a close contact, but that probably doesn't matter just 3 days away from Saturday night's clash with the Dolphins. No Kwiatkoski should mean more playing time for LB Cory Littleton. Nicholas Morrow also figures to get a boost in tackle upside, assuming he's ready to return from his concussion.
The Raiders could be without DE Clelin Ferrell, LB Nicholas Morrow and S Johnathan Abram when they play the Chargers on Thursday night. Morrow and Abram each left in the 4th quarter of Sunday's game with concussions. HC Jon Gruden said Monday they're in the concussion protocol. The short turnaround for Week 15 makes them unlikely to be ready. Ferrell left in the 1st quarter with a left-shoulder injury. Gruden also said it will be "tough" for Ferrell to make it back for Thursday night, according to SB Nation's Bill Williamson. We'll keep an eye on their statuses, but plan to have none of the 3 available for IDP use. Ferrell's absence would likely mean starter-level snaps for Arden Key, after DE Carl Nassib was a healthy scratch the past 2 weeks. Morrow's absence should mean a playing-time boost for disappointing LB Cory Littleton. Dallin Leavitt looks like the fill-in for Abram, with Jeff Heath's concussion having landed him on IR Saturday. The Raiders also might continue to miss starting CB Damon Arnette (concussion).
The Raiders on Thursday placed LB Cory Littleton on the COVID list. It's not clear whether Littleton got there by testing positive or being in close contact with someone who did. The timing figures to challenge his ability to make it back for Sunday's game against the Broncos. You should have another plan for your IDP lineup, especially given Littleton's poor production this season.
The Raiders have reached a 3-year, $36 million deal with LB Cory Littleton. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that it will include $22 million guaranteed. That follow's Las Vegas' Monday deal with LB Nick Kwiatkoski to likely fill the team's 2 full-time LB roles for the coming season. Littleton clearly stands as the better player, but we'll see exactly what their roles look like. Littleton became a versatile performer with the Rams, delivering in the pass rush and coverage. He'll remain a stellar bet for fantasy production in the middle of a defense that delivered Tahir Whitehead 108 tackles in 2019. There's room, though, for Kwiatkoski to also reach fantasy-starter territory -- at least in low LB3 range.
The Rams have tendered restricted free agent ILB Cory Littleton at the 2nd-round level. That means any team looking to sign away the 2018 breakout would need to send the Rams a 2nd-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Perhaps some suitor will value Littleton to that degree, but we'd bet on him returning to L.A. Littleton scored across categories in his 1st turn as a full-time starter and should land in LB1 territory in our 2019 IDP rankings.
Rams ILB Mark Barron missed practice Thursday and said he's "not certain" whether he'll be ready to play Monday night, according to Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register. Barron is listed with an ankle injury, but Hammond tweeted that Barron's "still coming back from injuries." He participated little in training-camp practices and sat out the preseason. We saw Barron put in limited practice work all last year, too, but he would play full time on Sundays. We'll see where this situation goes, but you're best off going in another direction for your Week 1 IDP lineup. Corps mate Corey Littleton gets an upside boost if Barron sits out. Ramik Wilson would likely start in Barron's place after filling in during the preseason.
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