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

Fantasy Football News 2021

Most Recent Shark Bites

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doesn't expect WR Amari Cooper (ankle) to practice until training camp breaks in mid-August. Cooper remains on the active PUP list after January ankle surgery. The team continues to express little concern about his status, but it sure seems like his recovery has taken longer than expected. Cooper comes with elevated risk until we see him back on the field.

Andy Vasquez of NorthJersey.com projects RB Ty Johnson as a cut in his admittedly "far too early" 53-player roster projection. "[Tevin] Coleman will likely get the majority of the snaps, but there will be plenty of opportunities for [Michael] Carter and another young back," Vasquez writes. "[Josh] Adams, [La'Mical] Perine and Johnson will battle for the final two spots at this position." We're not particularly excited about any player in what figures to line up as a committee but will be tracking the competition through summer.

The Browns have placed rookie LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah on the COVID list. That, of course, could mean a positive test or a high-risk exposure. We'll see how long the designation keeps the 2nd-rounder out and whether we should expect any lingering impact.

The Bears have placed RB Tarik Cohen on the active PUP list to start training camp. Cohen is still working back from last September's torn ACL and was reportedly hobbled during spring workouts. We're guessing he'll be available for the start of this season -- but it's certainly not a lock. We'll continue to monitor his progress. Cohen's absence would free up targets for RB David Montgomery. Chicago also added RB Damien Williams this offseason.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow (knee) will participate on day 1 of training camp. He’s avoided the PUP or NFI list, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. If his knee continues to cooperate, there’s no question Burrow could pay off his QB13 FFPC ADP. See where he sits in our 2021 QB rankings.

Colts WR Parris Campbell has been limited to 9 games over his first 2 NFL seasons due to a plethora of injuries. But, according to The Athletic's Zak Keefer, the team still believes he'll "become a vital player in their offense." The Colts made Campbell the 59th overall pick of the 2019 draft after he caught an Ohio State-record 90 balls as a senior and then blazed a 4.31-second 40-yard dash at the Combine. Campbell has flashed in those 9 games he's played so far, catching 5+ balls 3 times and also carrying 6 times for 50 yards. "If Campbell exits camp without any setbacks, he’ll have a big role in 2021," Keefer adds. Campbell remains super cheap in drafts, with an ADP sitting outside the first 12 rounds.

Texans QB Deshaun Watson will report for the start of training camp on Sunday, according to ESPN's Sarah Barshop. ESPN's Ed Werder reports that Watson is only showing up to avoid the daily $50,000 fine for missing camp. Watson, of course, has had issues with Houston management and requested a trade earlier this offseason. "Sense around league is Texans have moved on from Watson in their football plans, unless Watson’s arrival to camp somehow changes the dynamic," ESPN's Jeremy Fowler tweeted on Sunday. We'll see where that goes -- along with Watson's legal situation and standing with the NFL after the sexual assault allegations. He remains just a late-round flier in fantasy drafts right now.

Bucs TE Cameron Brate has been placed on the active PUP list to begin training camp. No word on his injury or how long he'll be out. Brate figures to be Tampa's #3 TE this season behind Rob Gronkowski and O.J. Howard, so he's off the fantasy radar.

Bucs WR Justin Watson is expected to miss 4 months after undergoing knee surgery, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Watson was placed on the active PUP list on Saturday and figures to slide to the reserve PUP list before the season starts, costing him at least the first 6 games. He was set to battle for the #4 WR job in Tampa. It'll now be Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson and rookie Jaelon Darden fighting for that spot.

Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that WR Dede Westbrook is signing a 1-year deal with the Vikings. Westbrook worked out with the team Saturday and then reportedly canceled plans to visit the Seahawks on Sunday. In Minnesota, Westbrook could challenge Chad Beebe for the #3 WR slot, which would likely primarily find him working the slot. Beebe spent 68% of his snaps there last season. Even in that role, though, Westbrook wouldn't carry much fantasy intrigue. Expect Minnesota to remain a lower-volume pass offense with targets concentrated in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.

In assessing the Chargers' RB depth chart, Gilbert Manzano of the Southern California News Group writes: "[Justin] Jackson is probably the most talented running back on the team not named Ekeler, but he struggles to stay on the field because of injuries. If he's healthy during training camp, expect Jackson to win over the new coaching staff and earn the No. 2 job." Durability has certainly been a big issue for Jackson, who played in just 16 total games over the past 2 seasons. But we saw Joshua Kelley disappoint and lose playing time as his rookie season went on. Larry Rountree is the only player among the 3 to be drafted by the current regime, but he was just a 6th-round selection. This looks like an open competition for what's expected to be 2 roster spots. Jackson has played well when on the field and brings intriguing upside as an end-of-draft lottery ticket. This should be a particularly good situation in which to be the #2 back, with Ekeler seeming unlikely to get true workhorse-level rushing work.

The Titans have placed rookie CB Caleb Farley on the non-football injury list and OLB Bud Dupree on the PUP list to begin training camp. Dupree is still working back from the early December right ACL tear that ended his 2020 season. Farley has had 2 back surgeries since his last action at Virginia Tech in 2019. Both players figure to be important pieces for a Tennessee defense that needs to improve on last year's performance. We'll see how they progress through the summer.

Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald this week led his list of potential "breakout" Patriots for 2021 with WR Jakobi Meyers. Callahan points to the "only" potential hurdles for Meyers being injury or "dominant summers from Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne," whom New England paid up for in free agency. "But those free-agent additions undoubtedly saw what everyone else did at OTAs and minicamp this spring: Meyers was the best receiver on the field," Callahan writes. We've certainly read other similar offseason buzz for Meyers, who claimed 28% of Patriots targets from Week 7 on last season. At WR68 in current FFPC best-ball drafting and a mid-13th round price on Underdog, Meyers at least looks worth some shots in your drafts. We'll see how things go for him and the rest of the Pats offense through training camp and preseason. Mac Jones taking over for Cam Newton at QB would also likely be good for Meyers' target volume.

The Bears are trading WR Anthony Miller to the Texans. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, it took only a "late-round pick swap" for the deal to happen. We have yet to see more specific details, but that seems an extremely low price for the 4th-year wideout. Miller lands in a situation with opportunity to be as much as the #2 target behind Brandin Cooks. But it's also a low-ceiling spot if Deshaun Watson doesn't return. We remain uninterested in Houston pass-catchers behind Brandin Cooks in fantasy football drafts. We'll see who steps into the #3 WR role in Chicago. Marquise Goodwin drew some spring buzz.

The Lions believe T.J. Hockenson is capable of making another leap forward in his 3rd NFL season. “I think it’s been a fairly consistent message all offseason, from Coach [Dan] Campbell to [OC Anthony] Lynn, that there’s plenty of meat still on that bone for him,” TEs coach Ben Johnson said. “And I think he’s embraced that. He agrees with that. We’re really looking forward to getting more out of him now.” Hockenson turned 101 targets into a 67-723-6 line last year and should be in for a boost in targets in 2021 considering Detroit's crappy WR corps. The stars are aligning for a big fantasy season here.

The Jets announced Friday that S Marcus Maye has opened training camp on the non-football injury list. DT Quinnen Williams landed on the active/PUP list. Williams' designation isn't surprising after his foot fracture in early May. It's not clear what Maye's issue is. We'll see how soon each starter gets activated.

Multiple Las Vegas sportsbooks believe Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will retire next week, according to Sports Illustrated's Bill Huber. Westgate SuperBook, for example, has taken down all its NFC North win totals and playoff odds. “Vegas oddsmakers tend to be pretty sharp," a source with knowledge of Rodgers' situation told Pro Football Talk. The thinking here is that Rodgers would "retire" until he was able to get out of Green Bay -- even if that wasn't until 2022. We'll continue to keep a close eye on this situation, but Rodgers carries lots of risk in fantasy drafts until this gets settled.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that Saints WR Michael Thomas (ankle) will debut in Week 7 this season "if everything goes perfect." Thomas elected not to undergo surgery on that ankle immediately after the season, evidently hoping it'd heal with rest and rehab. But he ended up having "major surgery" in early June, per Rapoport, and will need at least 4 months to recover. Thomas is expected to open the season on the PUP list, with the hope that he'll be ready to go following the Saints' Week 6 bye. And that sounds like the best-case scenario. He'll also miss a ton of valuable practice reps with QBs Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill. Thomas has gone from a value pick in Round 3 of fantasy drafts to a guy that you're probably better off just passing on unless you can land him super late.

Cowboys OC Kellen Moore said Friday that WR CeeDee Lamb will “play all over the field” in year 2. Lamb ran 95.4% of his routes from the slot as a rookie, but Moore pointed to the COVID offseason as a limiting factor. The Oklahoma product carries top-12 upside into the fall.

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes confirmed on Friday that he'll have no restrictions at the start of training camp. That's no surprise after he was a full-go in June workouts, but it's another reminder that last year's toe injury will not be an issue in 2021.

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