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Fantasy Football News 2021

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NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that RB Alfred Morris is scheduled to meet with the Giants "early next week" and that the team is expected to sign him at that point. Morris carried 55 times and caught 3 passes for last year's Giants, as they scrambled to fill a backfield missing Saquon Barkley. That they're looking to add a veteran RB now seems like yet another signal that we should expect a slow start for Barkley to this season. Expect Barkley to remain 1 of our most closely tracked players throughout the next month and a half (and maybe beyond). Do not expect Morris, however, to become a 2021 fantasy factor.

The Packers are releasing QB Blake Bortles now that Aaron Rodgers has returned, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. Expect Green Bay to hit the regular season with just Jordan Love behind Rodgers on the active roster. We’ll see if Bortles lands on another roster

The Giants have signed former WR Kelvin Benjamin as a TE. The 2014 1st-rounder topped 1,000 yards with 9 TDs as a rookie, missed 2015 with a torn ACL and then rebounded for a 63-941-7 line in 2016. But he bounced around to 3 different teams the next 2 seasons, totaling 73 catches and 4 TDs. And he's been out of the league the past 2 years. Benjamin is now 30. He has TE size at 6'5, 245 pounds and would be a catch-first player if he makes it. But Benjamin isn't even a lock to make the Giants' final roster and is a long shot to find meaningful playing time.

The Packers signed QB Blake Bortles. The 29-year-old has attempted just 2 passes over the last 2 years after 5 mostly disappointing seasons in Jacksonville. The real takeaway here, of course, is that Green Bay might be preparing to be without disgruntled QB Aaron Rodgers. We'll continue to monitor the situation.

The Seahawks signed Florida State WR Tamorrion Terry as an undrafted free agent. Terry might have been a mid-round pick had he been in last year’s draft. At that point, he was coming off an impressive 1,188-yard, 9-TD redshirt sophomore season. His 2020 didn’t go nearly as well. Terry got off to a slow start under a new coaching staff, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in mid-October and then left the team in November after having multiple issues with that new staff. Terry isn’t very agile and has trouble creating separation on short and intermediate routes. But he’s intriguing if only because he’s 6’3, 207 pounds with 4.4 speed and strong contested-catch skills. Terry was a big-play machine at Florida State, averaging 18.8 yards per catch over his 3-year career.

The Lions signed undrafted free agent WR Jonathan Adams out of Arkansas State. Adams puts a big check mark in the measurables box, going 6’2 and 210 pounds with a huge 39-inch vertical. He puts that to good use, flashing plus ball skills and contested-catch ability on tape. He’s coming off a big 1,111-yard, 12-TD senior season, accounting for 28% of his team’s receiving yards and 31% of the TDs. Adams obviously faced weaker competition in the Sun Belt conference but did post a 8-98-3 line on Kansas State this past year. We wouldn't be surprised if he made Detroit's roster -- although he obviously has a long ways to go to be a fantasy factor.

Buffalo
9:04am EDT 4/20/21

TE Jordan Reed announced his retirement. A talented pass-catcher, Reed's career was unfortunately defined by injuries, most notably his 7 documented concussions. He finishes a 7-season career with 355 catches for 3,602 yards and 28 TDs.

Buffalo
2:04pm EDT 4/19/21

QB Alex Smith announced his retirement on Monday. The 36-year-old impressively made it back on the field from a devastating leg injury in 2018 -- although he was clearly limited in his 8 appearances last season. The #1 pick of the 2005 NFL Draft, Smith hangs 'em up with 35,650 career passing yards, 199 TDs and 109 INTs.

Washington is releasing RB Bryce Love, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Love simply hasn't been able to recover from a significant ACL tear in December 2018. He's suffered multiple setbacks and has yet to hit the field since going in the 4th round of the 2019 draft. Love is still just 23 but is looking like a long shot for fantasy value. We'll see where he lands.

The Falcons released RB Ito Smith. A replacement-level player, Smith has averaged just 3.9 yards per carry and 5.7 yards per catch over 3 NFL seasons. His departure, though, leaves Atlanta with only RBs Mike Davis, Qadree Ollison and Tony Brooks-James. The Falcons are an obvious candidate to add a RB in the draft. But if they don't, Davis would be set up for a heavy workload.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman announced his retirement. It's not surprising news if you've been following the reports on his knee trouble. Edelman finishes an 11-season career with 620 catches, 6,822 yards and 36 scores. He had some monster performances in the postseason, including 9-109-1 and 10-141 lines in the Super Bowl. The Patriots likely had a good idea that Edelman was done and added WRs Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne in free agency.

NFL executives expect WR Larry Fitzgerald to retire at some point prior to the 2021 season, according to The Athletic's Mike Sando. Fitz has so far been hush-hush about his plans. He turns 38 in August and mustered just 7.6 yards per catch on 54 grabs last year. We've been anticipating this news: Fitzgerald isn't even in our 2021 WR rankings.

The Saints have released LB Kwon Alexander. It's not a surprising move. The veteran was set to make $13.2 million and $13.5 million in the final 2 years on his contract and suffered an Achilles' tendon tear in Week 16. We'll see whether he's ready to play for anyone in 2021.

Saints QB Drew Brees has announced that he's retiring. It's a move we've all expected this offseason, removing the player who has started behind center in New Orleans for the past 15 years. Taysom Hill is the leading candidate on the current roster to replace him. Many expect Jameis Winston to return and compete with Hill. We'll see whether Winston re-signs with the team. Brees retires with the NFL record for career passing yards, but that won't stand for long with Tom Brady planning to play another 12 years.

ESPN's Mike Triplett reports that the Saints plan to release LB Kwon Alexander. The veteran was set to make $13.4 million in 2021 and tore his right Achilles' tendon in Week 16. So this move comes as no surprise. We'll see if he can make it back to the field in a significant role for any team in the coming season. Long-term, there's still time for the 26-year-old to round back into form. He remains stashable if your IDP dynasty league is deep enough. Alexander's release plus Trey Hendrickson's impending free agency should help New Orleans find snaps for Zack Baun in his 2nd season.

The Lions have reached a 1-year deal with veteran TE Josh Hill. The former Saint spent the past 5 seasons working under new Detroit HC Dan Campbell, with Campbell serving as assistant HC and TEs coach in New Orleans. Hill figures to effectively replace Jesse James with the Lions. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that James is getting released. Hill topped out at 25 receptions in 2019 among 8 years with the Saints. James caught 30 total passes across 2 seasons after joining the Lions in free agency. So don't expect any real fantasy impact here.

The Vikings have released K Dan Bailey. The veteran converted a career-worst 68.2% of his FG attempts last season. There's certainly still a chance the 33-year-old lands a gig elsewhere this offseason, but we'd hold off on selecting him in FFPC best-ball drafts for now.

The Giants released WR Golden Tate, saving a little over $6 million against the 2021 salary cap. Tate is coming off a tumultuous 2020 season, missing Week 1 for a performance-enhancing drug suspension and later getting benched for a game after publicly complaining about his role. He finished with a 35-388-2 line and turns 33 in August. We'll see where Tate lands, but he's not a great bet for a big 2021 fantasy impact. His departure from The Big Apple frees up opportunity for Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Evan Engram -- although we'll have to see what other moves the Giants make this offseason.

Washington is set to release QB Alex Smith, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, saving nearly $15 million against the 2021 salary cap. Kudos to Smith for getting back on the field in 2020, but he looked like a shell of himself, averaging just 6.3 yards per attempt with 6 TDs vs. 8 INTs. The 36-year-old has said that he wants to continue playing, so we'll see where he lands. Taylor Heinicke is now the only QB on Washington's roster. The team will certainly add to the depth chart via free agency and/or the draft.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman is still "trying to work his way back" from the knee injury that cost him the final 10 games of last season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. We never got any details on that injury, but it was obviously significant. Edelman wants to play in 2021, per Rapoport, but it's unclear if his knee will let him. We'll keep an eye on the situation, but Edelman is hardly worth even a late-round dart in early fantasy drafts.

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