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

Fantasy Football News 2021

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Titans rookie CB Caleb Farley is not expected to be ready for the start of training camp, according to Jim Wyatt of the team website. The 1st-round pick says he's "dying" to get back on the field, but it's reportedly "unclear" when his back will be ready for action following March surgery. Injury concerns likely helped push Farley down to Tennessee's pick at 22. A Titans defense that allowed the league's 4th-most passing yards and 2nd-most passing TDs last year could use him as soon as possible.

Panthers OC Joe Brady indicated recently that we should expect a lot more from the team's TEs in his 2nd season there. "The tree that I grew up in, the tight ends are the most important position on the field, the matchups that they create, and everything," Brady said in early July, according to the team website. "It's been a point of emphasis this offseason, just trying to get those guys going in the passing game. And I think those guys have kind of taken and ran with it." Ian Thomas led Panthers TEs with just 20 receptions last year, and no team threw a smaller percentage of its targets to the position. Sounds like that should change significantly in 2021. But Carolina signed Dan Arnold in free agency and drafted Tommy Tremble in Round 3. HC Matt Rhule has also said Thomas is having a "tremendous offseason." There's too much going on that the position right now for us to target any Panthers TE in fantasy drafts. We'll see whether Thomas or Arnold can step ahead of the other as an upside option for August drafts.

According to ESPN's Jeff Legwold, Broncos HC Vic Fangio said this month that he "fully" expects WR Courtland Sutton to be ready for the regular season. That follows in line with other positive offseason reports on the 4th-year wideout. Sutton, of course, is working back from a Week 1 ACL tear. The team will monitor him throughout summer workouts and likely keep him on some sort of pitch count for preseason games and training-camp practices. We'll certainly watch reports on Sutton throughout the summer. His current ADP just outside the top 30 at WR, though, makes him easy to take some chances on.

NBC Sports' Tom Curran believes Jakobi Meyers will be the "most reliable and productive Patriots wideout in 2021." New England added Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne to the WR room this offseason, but Curran believes Meyers' understanding of the offense, route-running ability and reliable hands will give him the edge. It's a situation to track in training camp and preseason action, but Meyers is a nice target right now at his late ADP.

Details on Cowboys WR Amari Cooper's offseason ankle surgery have been scarce. Until now. Sports Illustrated's Mike Fisher reports that it was a "routine clean-up procedure" and happened in January. Fisher adds that the team is "unconcerned about any long-term issues." ESPN's Todd Archer previously reported that Cooper is expected to be ready for the start of training camp, but Fisher hears that Cooper will be "cutting it close." We'll see when he's able to take to the practice field, but it doesn't sound like there's any concern about his status for the start of the season.

WR N'Keal Harry has requested a trade out of New England, his agent announced. The 32nd pick of the 2019 draft has been a disaster over the past 2 seasons, totaling just 45 catches and averaging 9.2 yards per reception. Harry is still just 23 years old and was a nice-looking prospect coming out of Arizona State, so the light is still flickering. But he's not worth a pick in fantasy drafts right now and is just an end-of-bench stash in dynasty.

The Athletic's Adam Jahns expects the Bears offense to feature more deep passes this season. "[HC Matt] Nagy’s offense has always been vertical," Jahns writes. "His practices in the offseason program and camp have featured plenty of shots down the field, including this year with [Andy] Dalton and [Justin] Fields in OTAs and minicamp. Nagy wants to be aggressive down the field. It’s in his playbook and in his nature as a coach and play-caller." QB Mitchell Trubisky struggled throwing deep over the past few seasons -- but it's a strength of Fields' game. More deep shots would be particularly good news for speedy WR Darnell Mooney.

The Denver Post's Ryan O'Halloran predicts that RB Javonte Williams will lead the Broncos in carries this season. He adds that RB Melvin Gordon could open the season as the starter with Williams getting a bigger and bigger role each week. "The Broncos traded up in the second round for Williams and they weren’t high-fiving and fist-pumping in the draft room because he will watch this year," O'Halloran writes. This will be an important backfield to monitor in August. Williams has climbed into the 5th round in recent FFPC best-ball drafts, while Gordon has slid into the late 8th.

Raiders QB Derek Carr talked up 2nd-year WR Henry Ruggs after minicamp. “Man, he’s been impressive,” Carr said via The Athletic. “The way he’s running routes. He’s being violent in his cuts. I think something clicked in his head. Just like with everybody, you play a season in the NFL, you go back and watch the tape and you’re like, ‘Wow, I know what it takes now.’ And you either do it or you don’t. And he’s showing already that he said, ‘Nah, I’m going to do it.’ And it’s been so impressive.” In 2020, the Raiders miscast Ruggs as a downfield WR, helping contribute to a poor 26-452-2 line (13 games). The ‘Bama product has added weight this offseason and will start opposite either Bryan Edwards (the WR2 favorite) or John Brown. Ruggs is well worth a look in the double-digit rounds of best ball drafts.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott's personal trainer believes he's "way quicker, way more elusive" than he was even a few months ago. "I don’t think Zeke has ever worked like this in the offseason," trainer Josh Hicks added. We thought Elliott looked sluggish at times last season, when he averaged a career-low 4.0 yards per carry and ranked a middling 26th among 47 qualifying RBs in Pro Football Focus' Elusive Rating. So it's good to hear he's putting work in this offseason. “Zeke looks great,” QB Dak Prescott said. “He’s in the best shape of his life. Looking fast." With Prescott back and hopefully better health on the offensive line, Elliott is an obvious 2021 bounce-back candidate.

Titans WR A.J. Brown missed spring workouts and is still rehabbing after undergoing offseason surgery to both knees. "I am not getting impatient, but excited," Brown said. "I am excited to get back on the field, and get back out there with my teammates, just to be out there again. I have been rehabbing, and I have been taking it slow. And I'll be back out there soon." Details on Brown's injuries and rehab have been scarce. We'll see if he's ready for the start of camp next month or is forced to open on the PUP list.

ESPN's Todd Archer hears that Cowboys WR Amari Cooper (ankle) is expected to be ready for the start of training camp. He missed spring practices after undergoing ankle surgery this offseason. "They'll just monitor him and see how it goes" in camp, Archer adds. We'll be keeping a close eye on Cooper, who is going in the 3rd round of early fantasy drafts.

The Athletic's Paul Dehner expects "monster numbers" from Bengals RB Joe Mixon this season. Dehner projects Mixon to play around 80% of the offensive snaps and add 15-20 receptions to his previous career high of 43. That'd make Mixon a shoo-in for RB1 numbers with a shot at the top 5. He's an exciting pick at his current mid-2nd-round ADP.

Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah declared himself 100% recovered from last year's torn Achilles and was a full-go in OTAs and minicamp, according to The Athletic's Paul Dehner. Uzomah opened last season as Cincinnati's starter, tallying 11 targets before going down in Week 2. Dehner confirms that Uzomah is expected to play ahead of TE Drew Sample this year -- assuming he regains pre-injury form. A pass-heavy Bengals offense helps Uzomah's fantasy outlook. But he figures to be battling RB Joe Mixon for the title of 4th option in the passing game behind WRs Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.

Adam Jahns of The Athletic calls Marquise Goodwin the Bears' #3 WR based on OTAs and minicamps. Goodwin didn't play a single snap last season, but Jahns points out the WR's speed as the deciding factor. Damiere Byrd sits 4th in the projection, with Dazz Newsome and Anthony Miller slotting 5th and 6th, respectively. At bottom, we don’t see a Chicago WR beyond Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney emerging for fantasy.

Washington HC Ron Rivera called RB Antonio Gibson's improvement this offseason "exciting." Gibson ran for 795 yards and 11 scores on 4.7 yards per carry as a rookie last year -- despite totaling just 33 carries in college. "You can tell he's matured, got a better feel and understanding," Rivera said. "Those natural instincts that you look for, the intangibles that guys that have been playing the positions their whole career naturally have. You start to see those come to light with Antonio." RBs coach Randy Jordan added that Gibson's comfort in the running scheme is "like night and day" between last year and this year. Washington is also looking to expand Gibson's role in the passing game this season. There's big-time breakout potential here.

The Chiefs believe they need to make more plays in the short and intermediate passing games, according to NFL Network's James Palmer. Palmer notes that the team is looking to get the RBs more involved in the passing game (which we've heard multiple times this offseason) and adds that rookie TE Noah Gray could emerge as a factor with an increase in 2-TE sets. It's a situation to track this summer. There's certainly room for a 3rd viable fantasy option to emerge in Kansas City behind WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce. We might also just see Hill and Kelce set new career highs in target share this year.

Chiefs DE Frank Clark was arrested Sunday night in L.A. after police spotted an Uzi (submachine gun) in his car, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. The situation will certainly get a review under the league's personal-conduct policy. We'll see whether it ultimately costs Clark any games.

49ers RB Trey Sermon has "made a strong first impression, particularly as a pass-catcher out of the backfield," according to ESPN's Nick Wagoner. Sermon soaked up 1st-team reps in minicamp with RBs Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert sidelined with knee issues. The pass-catching comment is particularly noteworthy since Sermon arrives to the NFL with a modest 48 receptions across 4 college seasons. We'll be keeping a close eye on this 49ers backfield in training camp and preseason. Sermon has been leaving the board in the 6th round of recent FFPC best-ball drafts.

ESPN's Jenna Laine highlighted rookie WR Jaelon Darden as the biggest surprise of Bucs minicamp. QB Tom Brady reportedly had a say in Tampa's decision to take Darden in the 4th round of this spring's draft, and the rookie has drawn comparisons to Emmanuel Sanders and John Brown from HC Bruce Arians. "He's super quick and fast," Arians said. "He's a little thicker than I thought he was going to be when I watched him. He catches punts very easily and catches the football extremely easily. He can be very explosive." Darden has an extremely difficult path to playing time in a Bucs WR corps that also includes Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Tyler Johnson and Scotty Miller. But he's at least worth monitoring this summer and is a nice dynasty stash.

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