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New England Patriots Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Shark Bites are the latest fantasy football news & NFL updates. Draft Sharks has been in business since 1999. And when we started, redraft was the dominant form of fantasy football. Check out what we've learned about this most basic form of fantasy football along the way.

Patriots S Adrian Phillips left Sunday's loss to the Dolphins with a rib injury. We'll see about the severity, though don't be surprised if details are lacking. (It's the Patriots.)

Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) put in a full practice on Wednesday. It's confirmation that he's ready to rock for Sunday's opener vs. the Cardinals.

NESN's Zack Cox expects Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson to open the season as the "1B to [Damien] Harris' 1A." But, Cox adds, "it wouldn’t shock me if [Stevenson] eventually leapfrogs Harris and becomes New England’s top early-down option." Cox also says he expects "a much larger role in the passing game" for Stevenson this season. He'll be just a RB3 in fantasy lineups out of the gate, but there's upside well beyond that as we move deeper into the season.

The Patriots placed WR Tyquan Thornton (collarbone) on IR, knocking him out for at least the first 4 games of the season. It's a procedural move with Thornton expected to be sidelined until mid-October. The rookie could make an impact in the 2nd half of the season, but he's not worth stashing on redraft benches.

The Athletic's Chad Graff expects Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson to get the "bulk" of the passing-down snaps early in the season, assuming RB Ty Montgomery (ankle) is out. "And his performance in the first few weeks could dictate how much Montgomery sees the field," Graff writes. We're expecting Stevenson and Damien Harris to split carries fairly evenly this year, but Stevenson's pass-catching upside makes him the more appealing fantasy pick.

The Vikings are acquiring WR Jalen Reagor from the Eagles. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Minnesota is giving a 7th-round pick in 2023 (acquired from Houston in a separate trade this week) and a conditional 4th-rounder in 2024. That part will probably be determined by Reagor's performance in at least the coming season. The former 1st-round pick busted his way out of Philadelphia. He interestingly now becomes teammates with Justin Jefferson, whom Minnesota selected just after. It's tough to see Reagor climbing higher than 4th on the Vikings' WR depth chart without injury to someone in the top 3. So don't expect fantasy relevance this season.

Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster was back on the practice field Monday. He missed a little over a week with what the team called a "sore knee." But, barring a setback, he should be ready to roll for the start of the season.

When asked whether RB Antonio Gibson will enter the season as Commanders lead kick returner, here's what HC Ron Rivera had to say: “I think you still need to see some more stuff, but you know, I think he is. I do. I think he’s done a nice job.” That's nice. Wanna guess how many total kickoffs and punts Gibson returned over his 1st 2 NFL seasons? Zero. To be fair, Tony Pollard and Cordarrelle Patterson factored heavily into their teams' kick-return plans last year. But it sure seems like another signal of a downgrade to Gibson's standing within the offense.

ESPN's Field Yates reports that the Chiefs and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster have adjusted the wideout's contract to double his per-game roster bonus from $30,000 to $60,000. Smith-Schuster signed his original 1-year deal before the team traded WR Tyreek Hill to Miami, so clearly he has gained value to the Chiefs simply because of that move. This seems like a relative good-faith gesture: We'll reward you better if you produce. We're not sure there's any projections adjustment needed on this news, though.

Chiefs HC Andy Reid didn't sound concerned about WR JuJu Smith-Schuster's sore knee and expects him to be ready for the start of the season, according to insider Herbie Teope. Smith-Schuster has been sidelined since the day after Kansas City's preseason opener but recently "turned the corner" in his recovery, Reid said. We'll keep an eye on JuJu but haven't adjusted his 2022 projections.

Chargers CB J.C. Jackson had ankle surgery Tuesday and is expected to miss the next 2-4 weeks, according to multiple reports. Sounds like a relatively minor procedure, but this timeline obviously could spill over into missed regular-season games.

Patriots WR Tyquan Thornton is expected to miss about 8 weeks with the collarbone injury he suffered in Friday's preseason game, according to NFL Network's Mike Giardi. That'd put Thornton back sometime around Week 6 or 7. It'll likely be another few weeks beyond that before Thornton has any chance of being a real fantasy factor. The rookie can be left on the waiver wire in all redraft leagues.

The Athletic's Chad Graff lists WR Kendrick Bourne as a "faller" and WR Nelson Agholor as a "riser." Graff believes Bourne is now behind Jakobi Meyers, DeVante Parker and Agholor on the depth chart. Agholor "has been the Patriots’ best wide receiver in most practices and has shown an improved connection with Jones," Graff writes. We're not overly interested in any of these guys as draft targets, but we'll continue to monitor the pecking order.

Patriots WR Tyquan Thornton suffered a collarbone injury in Friday night's preseason game, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Rapoport doesn't say Thornton's collarbone is broken, but it sure sounds like that's the case. Thornton's season is "now put on hold, though based on his timetable, the injury to the speedster is not season ending." We'll look for a more concrete timeline, but Thornton isn't worth a roster spot in redraft leagues. His absence leaves Jakobi Meyers, DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor as New England's clear top 4 WRs.

Update: NFL Network's Mike Giardi reports that Thornton is expected to miss "around 8 weeks."

Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster missed several practices this week with what the team deemed a "sore knee," according to Chiefs Wire. HC Andy Reid said Thursday that Smith-Schuster is progressing, though it seems unlikely he'll play in Saturday's 2nd preseason game. We'll keep an eye on the situation beyond that, but the issue doesn't appear serious.

Patriots rookie WR Tyquan Thornton left Friday night's preseason game with a shoulder injury. The team has provided no details to this point, with HC Bill Belichick saying he doesn't know yet whether Thornton will be available for the team's next exhibition. We'll keep an eye on the situation, but there's not much relevance for redraft fantasy football leagues here.

According to multiple accounts, Patriots TE Hunter Henry left Tuesday morning's practice early. We have yet to see details on an injury but will keep watch for updates.

Commanders RB Antonio Gibson was working on the punt protection team in Tuesday's practice, according to ESPN's John Keim. This, of course, follows a rough preseason opener that saw Gibson get yanked after losing a fumble on his 2nd carry. For what it's worth, Gibson played zero snaps on special teams across his first 2 NFL seasons. We'll see exactly where this goes, but Gibson is trending in the wrong direction.

Patriots HC Bill Belichick said Tuesday that RB Rhamondre Stevenson "has done a real good job improving his pass-game skills," especially as a pass protector. Stevenson said back in June that his primary focus this offseason was in the passing game, and it sounds like the work has paid off. New England's pass-catching role is up for grabs with RB James White's retirement. It sounds like Stevenson, Ty Montgomery and rookie Pierre Strong are the top contenders for that job.

The Athletic’s Nate Taylor believes JuJu Smith-Schuster has been the Chiefs’ best WR in training camp. Taylor describes the former Steeler as “a smooth route runner who has been consistent.” There’s some post-hype appeal to JuJu, who turns just 26 in November. Given the lack of proven targets in Kansas City, WR2 totals are well within his range of outcomes.

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