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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.

The Falcons on Tuesday announced that they have signed TE Anthony Firkser. The former Titan never reached 40 receptions in a season across 4 years with Tennessee, and actually saw his receptions per game and yards per catch dip in 2021. We're not expecting fantasy significance from Firkser in Atlanta, where #2 TE Hayden Hurst finished just 37th at the position in PPR scoring last year.

Former Giants S Jabrill Peppers is joining the Patriots on a 1-year deal. Peppers is still just 26 (until Oct. 4) and a former 1st-round pick, but he's likely headed for a reserve/rotational role with New England. His playing time dipped even before an ACL tear and high-ankle sprain ended his 2021 campaign early. Peppers lands in a crowded Patriots secondary. His best path back to IDP relevance would be if New England envisions some sort of hybrid safety-LB role for a guy who has played both and looks better in the box than in deep coverage.

The Browns traded QB Case Keenum to the Bills for a 7th-round pick. Keenum replaces QB Mitchell Trubisky as QB Josh Allen's backup. Cleveland then signed QB Jacoby Brissett, who would be in line to start if QB Deshaun Watson is suspended.

Former Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster announced Friday that he's signing with the Chiefs. He should face little competition -- at least among what's currently rostered -- for the #2 wideout position. That hasn't been a high-upside role with Andy Reid's Chiefs, though. No K.C. WR besides Tyreek Hill has finished higher than 47th in the PPR rankings since 2015. That #47 finish came last year from Mecole Hardman, who should lose some target share to Smith-Schuster. WR Byron Pringle's departure for Chicago leaves some targets available, but he drew just 8.9% of the looks last year. We'd bet on Smith-Schuster overtaking Hardman as the team's 2nd-most targeted wideout. The landing spot should boost the average target depth for Smith-Schuster after that number dwindled to 5.5 and 6.5 yards the past 2 seasons. He was at 8.8 and 9.7 his 1st 2 years in the league. The Chiefs also like to move their WRs around. So we'd bet on Smith-Schuster coming down from the 80+% of time he spent in the slot the past 2 seasons. He's also likely to jump up the ADP charts with the K.C. landing, so be wary of overpaying in best-ball drafts going forward.

The Titans are signing former Browns TE Austin Hooper to a 1-year, $6 million deal. It's a nice landing spot for Hooper on a roster who's top remaining TE had been Geoff Swaim. We'll see whether Tennessee adds anyone else significant and what they do at WR, but Hooper's a solid option late in current best-ball fantasy football drafting.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports that the Browns are releasing TE Austin Hooper (with a post-June 1 designation). That will send Hooper to a free-agent market that has seen little TE movement in the early days. His departure leaves room for David Njoku to take over the lead TE spot, with 3rd-year TE Harrison Bryant behind him. Njoku has remained a solid value in best-ball drafting since re-signing with Cleveland. We'll see how much his ADP climbs with the Hooper news. Fowler says the Browns planned to keep Hooper but that acquiring WR Amari Cooper and pursuing QB Deshaun Watson changed the cap situation.

The Chargers have agreed to a 5-year, $82.5 million deal with CB J.C. Jackson, with $40 million of that guaranteed in the 1st 2 years, according to multiple reports. Arguably the top corner on the market, Jackson joins a Chargers defense that had already acquired EDGE Khalil Mack from the Bears this month. Jackson has grabbed 17 INTs over the past 2 seasons and 25 in his 4 years since arriving as an undrafted free agent. Both numbers lead the league over their respective spans.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports that the Browns plan to keep TE Austin Hooper around, despite using the franchise tag to keep TE David Njoku of the free-agent market. Hooper has 1 year left on his contract at a $13.25 million cap hit, according to Spotrac. Even cutting him, though, would mean $7.5 million in dead cap space. Having Hooper, Njoku and Harrison Bryant all on the roster once again would make it tough for any to provide consistent fantasy production. Don't overrate any of them in early fantasy football drafts.

Patriots beat writer Khari Thompson writes that the “next step” for RB Rhamondre Stevenson is “getting better as a pass blocker and receiver.” As a 2021 rookie, Stevenson excelled as a rusher, posting 4.6 YPC and excellent broken tackle metrics. But he graded out as a below average pass protector and pass catcher from Pro Football Focus, dropping 1 of 18 targets and fumbling on another. Still, the fact that Stevenson effectively matched Damien Harris in routes per game (7.2) is encouraging. There’s also not a receiving RB currently on the roster, assuming James White, 30, gets to free agency. Look for the 1-2 punch of Harris-Stevenson to continue in 2022.

Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (shoulder) is active for tonight's Wild Card game vs. the Chiefs. We'd be surprised if he played anything close to a full slate of snaps in his first action since early October.

The Steelers have activated WR JuJu Smith-Schuster from IR, making him eligible to play in Sunday's game against the Chiefs. He had previously said he'd take part. It's tough to know just how much we can expect, though, from a guy who is coming off October shoulder surgery. Smith-Schuster is no more than a fringe fantasy football consideration for what will likely be Pittsburgh's lone playoff game.

Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (shoulder) returned to practice on Thursday. He's been out since suffering a shoulder injury in Week 5 that required surgery. He was supposed to miss the rest of the season and still seems like a big long shot to play vs. the Chiefs this weekend. But we'll keep an eye on him.

Patriots S Adrian Phillips (knee) and DT Christian Barmore (knee) are active for today's game against the Dolphins, after entering the day questionable. LB Dont'a Hightower is inactive with his own knee injury.

Washington RB Antonio Gibson (hip) was limited in Wednesday's practice. He came off the COVID list earlier in the day and seems on track to play vs. the Giants this weekend.

Washington RB Antonio Gibson has been activated from the COVID list. He should be back for Sunday's finale vs. the Giants, but we'll have to see what Gibson does in practice this week. He's battled through a bunch of different injuries this season.

Patriots S Adrian Phillips sustained a wrist injury in Sunday's win over the Jaguars. We'll see about his status for Week 18.

Bucs RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn suffered a rib injury in the 4th quarter of Sunday's win over the Jets, HC Bruce Arians said. Tampa lost RB Ronald Jones to an ankle injury earlier in the game, leaving Le'Veon Bell as the team's top RB. We’ll look for updates on Vaughn and Jones on Monday.

Patriots S Kyle Dugger (hamstring), S Adrian Phillips (knee, illness) and CB J.C. Jackson (elbow) are active for today's game against the Jaguars. All arrived questionable but should be ready for IDP use at their appropriate levels.

Washington RB Antonio Gibson was not activated from the COVID list on Saturday and will miss Sunday's game vs. the Eagles. Washington promoted RB Wendell Smallwood from the practice squad. He'll join Jaret Patterson and Jonathan Williams in the backfield.

The Patriots on Saturday activated LB Ja'Whaun Bentley and edge Matt Judon from the COVID list. That should make each available for Sunday's game against the Jaguars.

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