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Shark Bites - Up-to-the-minute Fantasy Football News

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.

Washington has placed WR Curtis Samuel on the COVID list. We'll see how long that keeps him out. Samuel, of course, has already been sidelined on the PUP list with the groin issue that followed him out of OTAs. Washington also placed DT Matt Ioannidis on the COVID list.

Jets QB Zach Wilson has signed his rookie contract and reported to camp on Thursday. He ended up missing just a couple of days, so there shouldn't be any fantasy impact here. Wilson be under center for the Jets' opener vs. the Panthers on September 12.

Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy said Thursday that the plan for QB Dak Prescott (shoulder) to play in the preseason is "still on schedule." We'll see if Prescott ends up getting on the field for the exhibitions, but this is another sign that the team isn't overly concerned with his strained shoulder.

Chiefs TE Travis Kelce left Thursday's practice with what the team is calling back and hip tightness. That doesn't sound like a long-term issue, but we'll certainly keep an eye on the 1st-round fantasy pick.

Washington WR Adam Humphries has been a "favorite target" for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick early in camp, according The Athletic's Rhiannon Walker. It's worth noting that WR Curtis Samuel has been sidelined with his groin injury. But earlier reports had Humphries as the likely starting slot receiver, with Samuel joining Terry McLaurin on the outside. Humphries has missed 13 games over the past 2 seasons but did catch 76, 61 and 55 balls over the preceding 3 seasons in Tampa. And some of that came with Fitzpatrick under center. We'd still bet against Humphries becoming a real fantasy factor in an offense with McLaurin, Samuel, TE Logan Thomas and RBs Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic. But he's at least worth monitoring over the next month.

Before the 1st practice of Bengals training camp Wednesday, QB Joe Burrow said: “I’m just about 100 percent. Feeling great, still getting stronger in my legs. Going to continue to lift throughout camp, keep getting stronger, so I just feel great going into Week One.” Burrow also said that he wants to play in a preseason game, but we'll see what the team decides to do. We wouldn't be surprised if they deny the franchise QB that wish. Still, signs continue to look positive for the health of Burrow's knee heading into his 2nd season.

Falcons WR Calvin Ridley was on the field for Thursday's practice after missing spring workouts recovering from foot surgery. "The Falcons number one receiver looks good," ESPN's Michael Rothstein tweeted. "Cut well out of his breaks and looked smooth as ever." We'll continue to keep an eye on Ridley, but it doesn't sound like we should be concerned about the foot.

Eagles GM Howie Roseman said Wednesday that he expects TE Zach Ertz to be on Philly's roster when the season begins, according to ESPN's Tim McManus. We wouldn't expect to hear anything different from Roseman, regardless of where trade talks might be on the veteran player. The fact that Ertz hasn't gone anywhere yet, though, means we should draft as though Ertz will be an Eagle come Week 1. His continued presence would certainly affect Dallas Goedert's fantasy ceiling, but we expect the younger TE to emerge as Philly's clear leader at the position this season. Even if their target counts sit close together, Goedert is the much better bet for a deeper average target depth and for yards after the catch.

Don't be surprised if Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. has a quiet start to training camp. “With Odell, very similar to a lot of guys, they have an individual plan that’s tailored to them and where they are in their rehab,” HC Kevin Stefanski said Wednesday, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “We’ll bring him along at the discretion of our doctors, our medical team, and Odell, and see how he’s feeling. I had a good meeting with him last night. He’s doing well.” We'll keep an eye on Beckham reports going forward, but it's obviously good that he avoided the PUP list to begin camp. Offseason reports on the health of his knee have been positive as well.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that the Cowboys hope "just a few days" rest will get QB Dak Prescott's right shoulder strain "under control." The issue is considered a "slight" strain. We'll certainly keep tracking the situation closely.

Raiders WR Henry Ruggs said during his Wednesday press conference that he packed on 13 pounds this offseason. “It was my focus. It’s a man’s game now and I’m not the biggest guy, but I have to get to where I can compete with grown men now,” Ruggs said. “So that was one of my biggest things that I hammered on was getting bigger, eating all the time, and just hammering down in the weight room. And people [have been] saying I look noticeably bigger, so I guess it’s paying off.” We've seen some speed guys in the past try to add weight and lose some of the speed that set them apart, so we'll be interested to see Ruggs in action. The 2nd-year wideout seems mindful of that. “Even in the weight room, you work on different things, but when you’re gaining weight, you still have to do the little-guy things that I’m known for,” Ruggs said. “So, still hammered on those things and just got better in the things that I needed to work on.” Ruggs remains outside the top 50 WRs in ADP, so there's little risk in betting he can step into Vegas' top role.

Insider Nick Underhill reports that Saints WR Deonte Harris was arrested earlier this month and charged with DUI. Underhill notes that these situations usually result in a 2-game suspension. Harris caught just 20 balls last year but became more important in New Orleans after the Michael Thomas news. He remains off the redraft radar, especially with the impending suspension.

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and the team Wednesday downplayed the significance of his shoulder strain. David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports that a "mild or Grade 1 strain" of the latissimus muscle -- which connects the upper arm to the spine -- "typically requires a couple of weeks to heal." Prescott has said it'll be a day-to-day question for his availability. Whether Dallas brings in another QB could be telling. For now, Garrett Gilbert will fill in with the starters.

ESPN's Josh Weinfuss believes Cardinals RBs Chase Edmonds and James Conner will "split the primary reps to start, with whoever has the hot hand getting the ball." Fantasy drafters are clearly expecting Edmonds to lead this backfield, taking him about 3 rounds ahead of Conner. We'll see if we get more clarity on the situation over the next month, but Conner is probably the better shot at ADP right now.

Bears HC Matt Nagy said Wednesday that he anticipates TE Cole Kmet's role growing in 2021. His playing time spiked late in his rookie year, with Kmet registering a 70+% snap rate in each of final 8 games (including playoffs). But the production didn't follow. Kmet averaged just 5 targets, 3.1 catches and 22.5 yards per game over that stretch. There's plenty of room for those numbers to grow this year, especially in Chicago gets better QB play from Justin Fields and/or Andy Dalton.

The Raiders have placed RB Kenyan Drake on the non-football injury list to open training camp. The team didn't announce what injury is keeping Drake out. He was seen working on the side with trainers at Wednesday's practice, though. We'll keep an eye on his status in the coming days. RBs Jalen Richard and Theo Riddick, meanwhile, landed on the COVID list. Maybe Josh Jacobs will get a few more chances to show Vegas coaches he can catch passes.

Update: Drake returned to practice on July 30.

The Cardinals placed DE J.J. Watt on the PUP list Wednesday after the veteran experienced hamstring soreness following Tuesday's conditioning test. According to ESPN's Josh Weinfuss, Watt said he doesn't expect to practice Thursday and isn't sure when he'll return to the field. "We're gonna take it very slow and be very smart about it," Watt said. We'll keep an eye on the situation, but there's no reason for panic at this point.

If you're still worrying about Titans WR A.J. Brown's offseason knee surgeries, you can stop now. From The Tennessean's Ben Arthur: "Any concerns about Brown being limited to start training camp because of the knee surgeries were quickly put to rest. He practiced without any bands or braces on his knees and looked dominant throughout practice." Brown is coming off a top 7 finish in fantasy points per game last season and projects as a mid-range WR1 again in 2021.

The Athletic's believes 49ers RB Trey Sermon might play a role similar to the one Tevin Coleman played back in 2019. "The 49ers liked to begin games with Tevin Coleman at tailback, which both tenderized the defense and kept the 49ers’ home-run hitter, Raheem Mostert, fresh." That season, Coleman out-carried Mostert 137 to 112 in their 14 games together. Such a split would be a win for Sermon in his rookie season. The takeaway here, though, is that it'll be a committee attack in San Francisco's backfield this year.

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