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Fantasy Football News 2021

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ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that WR Amari Cooper "intends" to re-sign with the Cowboys on a 5-year, $100 million deal. Schefter adds that Washington tried to draw Cooper away on Monday but lost out. Staying in Dallas figures to be the best move for Cooper's fantasy outlook. He has produced WR1-level numbers since the mid-2018 trade. Cooper's decision keeps intact the top of a Cowboys passing game that also delivered a lot of fantasy points through QB Dak Prescott and WR Michael Gallup in 2019.

The Cowboys and TE Blake Jarwin have agreed to a 3-year, $24.25 million extension with $9.25 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That makes Jarwin a heavy favorite to operate as Dallas' lead TE in 2020. The 25-year-old has totaled 58 catches, 672 yards and 6 TDs over the last 2 seasons, posting a 75.3% catch rate and 11.6 yards per catch. His fantasy upside would get a boost if Dallas loses WR Amari Cooper in free agency.

The Cowboys have placed the franchise tag on QB Dak Prescott. The 2 sides have been working on hammering out a long-term deal and still have until July 15 to do so. But this at least ensures that Prescott will be with Dallas for the 2020 campaign. He's coming off a career-best season that saw him rank 2nd among QBs in fantasy points. It was his 4th straight top-11 finish.

The Cowboys will name HC Mike McCarthy their new HC, according to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer. An official announcement is expected later this week. McCarthy spent 2006-2018 as Packers HC, compiling a 125-77-2 record, 9 playoff appearances and 1 Super Bowl. He was an OC before that and figures to have a big say in the Cowboys offense. But we'll see who McCarthy brings aboard as his OC.

The Cowboys have fired HC Jason Garrett. The move seemed inevitable but for some reason took until a full week after Dallas' season had ended to happen. Garrett spent the past 13 seasons with the Cowboys as either OC or HC. He finishes with an 85-67 record as HC but had far too many underachieving seasons. 2019 was chief among them, with Dallas going 8-8 despite a loaded roster. We'll see who the Cowboys tab as their new HC. We're also curious to see if they can hang on OC Kellen Moore, who showed promise at times as the play-caller this past year.

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2:12pm EST 12/29/19

Panthers QB Will Grier was benched in the 2nd quarter of Sunday's game against the Saints after completing 1 of 8 passes for 4 yards and an INT. It was a truly pathetic performance. Between the preseason and his 2 regular-season starts, Grier has shown nothing to suggest that he has much of an NFL future. QB Kyle Allen will close out the season for Carolina.

NFL Network's Jane Slater reports that Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch will have "minimally invasive surgery" within the next few weeks to fix the nerve issue in his neck that ended his season early. Dallas expects Vander Esch to be back "long before camp." Veteran LB Sean Lee remains an IDP starting option for Week 17, coming off 17 tackles in Sunday's loss to the Eagles.

ESPN's Adam Caplan hears that Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (shoulder) had "no issues with making throws with some distance on them during Saturday's work." It's the most positive report we've heard on Prescott all week. We still won't know exactly how close he is to 100% until Cowboys-Eagles kicks off this afternoon, though, so we're still ranking him as a risk/reward QB1.

Rams K Greg Zuerlein is active for tonight's game against the 49ers. He's a shaky fantasy option.

The Cowboys have ruled LB Leighton Vander Esch (neck) out once again. He hasn't played since Week 11. Sean Lee remains an IDP starting option in LVE's absence.

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (shoulder) isn't listed on the final injury report. It's confirmation that he'll start Sunday's game against the Eagles. Prescott is reportedly dealing with an AC joint injury in his right shoulder, though, and only did some light throwing on Friday this week. It obviously adds lots of risk to his Week 16 fantasy profile -- although there's upside in this matchup vs. Philly's burnable CBs.

Rams K Greg Zuerlein (quad) missed practice all week and is questionable for Saturday night's game against the 49ers. HC Sean McVay said Thursday that he expects Zuerlein to play but won't know for sure until he kicks on Friday. Avoid him in Week 16 fantasy lineups.

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott told reporters on Thursday that he'll play against the Eagles this weekend, despite the AC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder. "I'm getting better," he said. "Simple as that. Mobility and function, it's all improving. That's the key. That's the goal. I'll be good to go Sunday." Prescott didn't throw on Thursday and said that he might not throw until Saturday. He also revealed that he suffered this same injury multiple times in college. "I haven't had it in 4 years. You forget the pain level," he said. "You've got to get used to that again, but it's fine ... Nothing I can't deal with." We'll continue to keep a close eye on Prescott, but he's shaping up as a risk/reward Week 16 fantasy play.

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott suffered an AC joint injury in his throwing shoulder in the 1st quarter of Sunday's win over the Rams. Prescott never left that game but attempted just 20 passes over the final 3-and-a-half quarters. HC Jason Garrett said Wednesday that an MRI revealed no structural damage to the shoulder but that Prescott is "not very functional at the moment." Garrett also stopped short of guaranteeing that Prescott will play against the Eagles this weekend, although ESPN's Ed Werder reports that Prescott is expected to play. We'll keep a close eye on the situation over the next few days -- but we just moved Prescott and his WRs down the Week 16 Rankings.

The Panthers are expected to start QB Will Grier against the Colts this weekend, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Carolina selected Grier with the 100th overall pick of this spring's draft after he completed 65.7% of his passes and averaged 9.4 yards per attempt in his 2 seasons as West Virginia's starter. Grier earned Pro Football Focus’ 2nd-best passing grade last year (behind only Kyler Murray) and was 1 of our favorite sleepers in this year's QB class. He struggled in preseason action, though. And the fact that it took Carolina this long to turn to him is a concern. Grier isn't a viable Week 16 fantasy play -- but it's tough to see him being a downgrade from QB Kyle Allen, who's averaged just 6.7 yards per attempt with 10 INTs over his last 5 games.

The Cowboys have ruled LB Leighton Vander Esch (neck) out for Sunday's game against the Bears. That has meant starter level playing time for LB Sean Lee. The veteran (pectoral) is questionable for Week 15. We'll check his status Sunday afternoon.

Cowboys RB Tony Pollard (knee) practiced all week and will return for Sunday’s game against the Rams. The rookie has averaged just 3.5 carries and 1.5 targets over his last 8 games.

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch didn't practice Wednesday. HC Jason Garrett called him "day-to-day" afterward, according to the team website, adding that "it might be a little bit of time" before he can get back onto the field. Vander Esch is nursing a neck injury that seems to carry more long-term concern than immediate. Don't bet on him returning for your Week 15 IDP lineup. We'll see how things progress. Sean Lee becomes an IDP option whenever Vander Esch sits.

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott injured the index finger on his right hand and sprained his left hand in Thursday night's game in Chicago, HC Jason Garrett said. Garrett expects Prescott to be "fine" for Week 15, but we'll need to keep an eye on him. Prescott completed a season-low 55% of his passes in that loss to Chicago.

Cowboys RB Tony Pollard (knee) is inactive for tonight's game against the Bears. The rookie has averaged 2.6 carries and 2.4 targets over the past 5 weeks, so his absence is a slight boost to RB Ezekiel Elliott's projected volume.

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