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

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

Bucs QB Tom Brady admitted that his left knee was an issue throughout last season. "It just took a lot," he said "Every week I was kind of tending to my knee, and I thought I would love to see a season where I can focus on some other strength stuff that I want to do, some other technique stuff where I’m not just focused on protecting my knee all the time." Despite that, Brady threw for 4,633 yards and 40 TDs in his Bucs debut, finishing 7th among QBs in fantasy points. He underwent what he called "pretty serious" knee surgery after the Super Bowl and will resume throwing next week. The knee shouldn't be an issue by the time training camp kicks off, but we'll keep an eye on the soon-to-be 44-year-old.

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence will be limited in rookie minicamp as he continues to make his way back from left (non-throwing) surgery in February, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Lawrence is "doing well" in rehab and should be ready to go when training camp opens, Rapoport adds. This is a situation worth monitoring but shouldn't ultimately impact Lawrence's rookie campaign.

The Colts signed K Eddy Pineiro to a 1-year deal. It's a curious move with K Rodrigo Blankenship coming off a strong rookie season (32 of 37 on FGs). Pineiro was out of work last year but connected on 23 of 28 FGs for the Bears back in 2019. Blankenship remains a heavy favorite to be the Colts' kicker in 2021, but he carries a bit more risk in fantasy drafts right now.

The Packers signed QB Blake Bortles. The 29-year-old has attempted just 2 passes over the last 2 years after 5 mostly disappointing seasons in Jacksonville. The real takeaway here, of course, is that Green Bay might be preparing to be without disgruntled QB Aaron Rodgers. We'll continue to monitor the situation.

The Cardinals have announced that 1st-round LB Zaven Collins will start at the "Mike" position, which belonged to Jordan Hicks last season. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the team has given Hicks permission to pursue trade possibilities -- but also renegotiated his contract to a lower salary. So it's possible Hicks remains. Collins' mix of size (259 pounds) a 70th-percentile speed score and production both coming forward and in coverage give him huge immediate IDP upside.

The Jaguars are set to sign Tim Tebow, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Tebow is now 33 and has been out of the NFL since 2015. He also has zero experience at TE. Jacksonville does have 1 of the weakest TE depth charts in the league, but Tebow is still a super long shot to fantasy relevance. Get ready to hear way too much about this story over the next few months.

Seahawks HC Pete Carroll pointed to WR D'Wayne Eskridge's versatility as 1 of the reasons the team liked him. "He definitely is a guy, as you can tell in the highlights that you have seen, that we can hand him the football, we can flip it to him, we can do things with him behind the line of scrimmage," Carroll said. "He's run very effectively on reverses and stuff like that, and the returns show that as well. We were looking for a receiver that would have all of that kind of versatility and he was really an exciting one to draft." Eskridge has a clear path to #3 WR duties this season, but Seattle's 3rd WR has tallied just 53, 34 and 47 targets the past 3 seasons. So Eskridge will need to add a bunch of value on the ground if he's going to be a fantasy factor this year.

The Vikings were hoping to land QB Justin Fields at pick 14 and even considered trading up for him, according to ESPN's Courtney Cronin. The Bears ended up making the move for Fields, while the Vikings added QB Kellen Mond with pick 66. Minnesota is clearly looking at their long-term QB situation, with Kirk Cousins turning 33 in August and, more importantly, set to count $45 million against the cap in 2022, the final year of his deal. Mond won't threaten Cousins' job this season. But if he shows well throughout the year, Minnesota might opt to roll with Mond the following year.

The Eagles on Friday signed RB Kerryon Johnson. He slipped to just 3.3 carries and 1.2 receptions per game last season, with D'Andre Swift in the mix -- despite playing in all 16 games for the 1st time in his 3 years. Johnson joins a Philly backfield with Miles Sanders as the leader, 5th-round pick Kenneth Gainwell arriving as a receiving factor and Jordan Howard returning. We'll see exactly how Johnson fits in this summer.

The Titans signed former Falcons RB Brian Hill to a 1-year deal. Hill, a 2017 5th-round pick, averaged 4.7 YPC last year on a career-high 100 attempts. He’ll battle Darrynton Evans and Jeremy McNichols for the #2 spot behind Derrick Henry. A Henry injury would almost certainly result in a timeshare, though.

The Titans are declining the 5th-year option on the rookie contract of former 1st-round LB Rashaan Evans. That makes 2021 the final campaign on his deal. Assuming Evans doesn't explode and earn a new contract, his expected departure could benefit Jayon Brown and/or David Long.

The Cowboys have declined the 5th-year option on LB Leighton Vander Esch, leaving 2021 as the final year on his rookie contract. It's not a surprising move given LVE's injury issues the past 2 years (13 games missed). The decision adds upside to 1st-round pick Micah Parsons, who should find a full-time role by 2022 (if not sooner).

The Lions are waiving RB Kerryon Johnson, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. This move doesn't come as a surprise after Detroit signed Jamaal Williams in free agency. We'd bet on Johnson finding a new team before long, with Atlanta the most obvious candidate. Johnson averaged 4.3 yards per carry and 8.3 yards per catch over 3 seasons in Detroit but averaged just 10.1 touches per game. He lost 14 games to injuries over his first 2 seasons before playing in every 2020 game -- and seeing his rushing workload crater (3.3 rushes per contest). We'll see where Johnson lands for 2021.

"There are people in league circles who believe [Texans QB] Deshaun Watson will not play this season," ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Watson, of course, faces 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault. Houston police and the NFL are both looking into the matter. The Texans spent their 1st pick of the draft (67th overall) on Stanford QB Davis Mills, another sign that Watson's future with the team is up in the air. We'll continue to stay on top of this situation, but Watson is a high-risk pick in early fantasy drafts. His FFPC ADP has sunk to Round 11.

Back before his team elected not to draft any RBs, new Falcons HC Arthur Smith said he plans a committee approach in the backfield. “We’re not going to have Derrick Henry here,” Smith told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in April. “So, it’s not like I think we’re going to have Derrick Henry. The reality is that we’ll get multiple backs in here, and we’ll have the way we trust our schemes and the way we teach the details of it, and we’ll commit to it." Mike Davis stands as the clear leader in a group who's next most accomplished rusher is Cordarrelle Patterson. But Patterson will factor in. Atlanta signed Javian Hawkins after the draft. We'll see about Qadree Ollison. And the Falcons could still add pieces. Davis makes for a solid target in current best-ball drafting. Just beware of projecting him too many touches simply because we can't see exactly where else they would go yet.

Broncos HC Vic Fangio plans to split reps evenly between QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock this offseason. "It will be something that at the end of the day, maybe not at the end of every day but over the course of OTAs and training camp, it’ll be 50-50," Fangio said. That suggests that this is a wide-open competition. Lock and Bridgewater could hardly be more different: Lock an aggressive gunslinger, Bridgewater and more conservative but accurate passer. We'll see how this shakes out, but neither guy can be considered more than a QB3 in best-ball drafts right now. Of course, whoever wins the job will have some fantasy upside thanks to Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Noah Fant.

ESPN's Michael DiRocco reports that the Jaguars plan to use RB Travis Etienne "similar to the way [Urban] Myer used Percy Harvin" at Florida. In 3 years under Meyer, Harvin carried 194 times and caught 133 passes. The splits went 41 rushes, 34 catches as a freshman; 83/59 as a sophomore; 70/40 as a junior. "He's much more than a running back," Meyer said of Etienne. "He's a slash. He's got excellent hands and he'll be dual trained. [Dual-threat players] are hard to find, too, but if you can find one we know how to use him. With him I expect him [to make] an instant impact." Etienne will make for a tricky fantasy projection. His expected role, though, makes it more realistic to find worthwhile touches for both him and James Robinson. We'll certainly continue tracking this situation throughout the summer.

Bengals OC Brian Callahan was asked about his plans for a 3rd-down back this season and had this to say: "I don't want Joe (Mixon) to leave the field, and I think he's up for that challenge." Nice. Mixon has been an excellent pass-catching back dating back to his college days. But that part of his game has never been fully unleashed in Cincinnati. He topped out at 43 catches back in 2018 -- although he was on pace for 56 through 6 games last season. The Bengals cut RB Gio Bernard this offseason and only added 6th-round rookie Chris Evans and undrafted rookie Pooka Williams to the backfield so far. A healthy Mixon is a good bet for a new career high in receptions this year. His ADP at the Round 2-3 turn in FFPC best-ball drafts right now (RB15) makes him a good target.

The Seahawks signed Florida State WR Tamorrion Terry as an undrafted free agent. Terry might have been a mid-round pick had he been in last year’s draft. At that point, he was coming off an impressive 1,188-yard, 9-TD redshirt sophomore season. His 2020 didn’t go nearly as well. Terry got off to a slow start under a new coaching staff, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in mid-October and then left the team in November after having multiple issues with that new staff. Terry isn’t very agile and has trouble creating separation on short and intermediate routes. But he’s intriguing if only because he’s 6’3, 207 pounds with 4.4 speed and strong contested-catch skills. Terry was a big-play machine at Florida State, averaging 18.8 yards per catch over his 3-year career.

The Lions signed undrafted free agent WR Jonathan Adams out of Arkansas State. Adams puts a big check mark in the measurables box, going 6’2 and 210 pounds with a huge 39-inch vertical. He puts that to good use, flashing plus ball skills and contested-catch ability on tape. He’s coming off a big 1,111-yard, 12-TD senior season, accounting for 28% of his team’s receiving yards and 31% of the TDs. Adams obviously faced weaker competition in the Sun Belt conference but did post a 8-98-3 line on Kansas State this past year. We wouldn't be surprised if he made Detroit's roster -- although he obviously has a long ways to go to be a fantasy factor.

 
 
 

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