Shark Bites

The Saints have released TE Coby Fleener. Frankly, we're surprised this move wasn't made earlier in the offseason. Fleener totaled just 72 catches and 5 TDs across 27 appearances over the past 2 years in New Orleans. He sustained what he said was the 5th concussion of his career last season and will turn 30 in September. Fleener figures to get a shot elsewhere but is a poor bet for 2018 fantasy relevance. The Saints, meanwhile, are left with Ben Watson and Josh Hill atop the depth chart. Watson looks like the early favorite for targets, despite going on 38 years old. He caught 61 balls in Baltimore last year and posted a big 74-825-6 line with the Saints back in 2015.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Cowboys TE Jason Witten plans to retire and join the Monday Night Football broadcast team, though he'll meet with Jerry Jones before making it official. Assuming he does finalize that decision, Witten would join Dez Bryant in removing about 45% of targets from last year's Dallas offense. Witten's share slipped to 17.7%, while his 8.9 yards per catch marked a career low. With TE James Hanna also retiring, Rico Gathers could face big opportunity in his 2nd season. We'll see whether the Cowboys add pass-catchers -- either at TE or WR -- in the next 2 rounds of the NFL Draft on Friday.

The Cowboys are expected to release WR Dez Bryant, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Todd Archer. We've heard whispers about this for a while now. Dallas reportedly wants Bryant to take a pay cut from the $12.5 million he's scheduled to earn this year and next -- and the mercurial WR evidently isn't willing to oblige. The 2 sides are meeting today, but a divorce is expected "barring an unexpected last-minute change of heart," Schefter tweets. Bryant's production has crated since 3-straight seasons of 1,200+ yards from 2012 to 2014. Over the past 3 years, he's totaled just 150 catches for 2,035 yards and 17 TDs across 38 appearances. He seemingly struggled to get on the same page as QB Dak Prescott, corralling just 52.2% of his targets over the last 2 seasons. Bryant is still just 29, so there's certainly a chance he bounces back in 2018. We'll see where he lands before assessing his fantasy value. The Cowboys, meanwhile, are left with Terrance Williams, Allen Hurns and Cole Beasley atop their WR depth chart. They figure to be in the market for a rookie WR or 2.

Update: They did.

RB Danny Woodhead has announced he’s retiring. Baltimore recently released him after an injury-marred 2017. Woodhead spent 9 seasons in the league after arriving as an undrafted free agent

The Dolphins on Wednesday released TE Julius Thomas. The veteran spent just 1 year in Miami, catching 41 balls for 388 yards and 3 TDs across 14 games. He now hits the open market heading into his age-30 season, with a fairly significant injury history. We're not expecting much from Thomas going forward.

The Ravens have released WR Jeremy Maclin. The team's WR room is being completely re-tooled, adding John Brown and Ryan Grant and with Mike Wallace an unsigned free agent. Maclin turns 30 in May and has missed 8 games while averaging 11.6 yards per catch over the past 2 seasons.

The Panthers on Tuesday agreed to a 3-year, $24 million deal with CB Bashaud Breeland, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The former Washington corner will get $11 million guaranteed and take over a starting job on a Carolina D that traded away Daryl Worley. Breeland should continue to be a decent IDP contributor. The Washington secondary, meanwhile, will now move forward without 2 of its top 3 CBs from the past 2 seasons. (Kendall Fuller went to the Chiefs in the Alex Smith trade.)

The Ravens have released RB Danny Woodhead. A nasty hamstring injury cost him 8 games last year. He caught 33 balls in the other 8 but averaged just 6.1 yards per catch. Woodhead turned 33 in January and has missed 35 games over the past 4 seasons. We'll see how much interest he garners on the open market.

The Cardinals have released RB Adrian Peterson. It was a no-brainer move, saving about $3 million against the 2018 cap. Peterson averaged just 3.5 yards per carry in 6 games with Arizona -- after averaging 3.0 in 4 appearances for the Saints. The soon-to-be 33-year-old has seemingly reached the end of his football road.

The Titans have released RB DeMarco Murray. The move should surprise no one. Murray is now 30, averaged just 3.6 yards per carry and 6.8 yards per catch last year and was set to earn $6.5 million in 2018. We'll see where he lands, but he's not a good bet to be a fantasy asset this coming season. In Tennessee, meanwhile, Derrick Henry finally gets his shot at a workhorse role. He averaged a mediocre 4.2 yards per carry last year, but that number jumps to 4.7 in 7 games with 13+ attempts. He's the type of big, bruising back that should improve with more consistent workloads. Henry remains unproven as a pass-catcher, although he has hauled in 75% of his targets and averaged 11.4 yards per catch through 2 NFL seasons.

The Patriots have released TE Martellus Bennett, saving $6.2 million against the 2018 cap. Bennett appeared in just 2 games for the Patriots before landing on IR this past season. That followed a failed 7-game stint with the Packers. He turns just 31 this month, though, and posted a 55-701-7 line in 2016. We'll see how much interest Bennett garners on the open market and where he eventually lands.

12:02pm EST 2/28/18

RB Matt Forte has announced his retirement. The 32-year-old has been running on fumes the past couple of seasons, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry. He was a fantasy stud in his heyday, ripping off 8 straight top-12 PPR finishes from 2008 to 2015. Forte's departure leaves the Jets with 29-year-old Bilal Powell and sophomore Elijah McGuire. We'll see if and what they add to the backfield in free agency and the draft.

Steelers WR Eli Rogers tore his ACL late in last weekend'd loss to the Jaguars, according to insider Gerry Dulac. The timing of the injury will make it tough for Rogers to be ready for the start of the 2018 campaign. After catching 48 balls a year ago, Rogers tallied just 18 this season as he played behind Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant. The 25-year-old is a restricted free agent this offseason.

Titans RB DeMarco Murray (knee) is out for Saturday night's playoff game against the Patriots. Derrick Henry will again serve as Tennessee's feature back. He's played 97% of the offensive snaps both of the past 2 weeks, tallying touch totals of 29 and 25. The Titans need to get him up into that territory again if they want any chance of leaving New England with a win. The Patriots have allowed 4.7 yards per carry to RBs this season.

Titans RB DeMarco Murray (knee) has been ruled out for Saturday's playoff game against the Chiefs. He's dealing with what's usually a 6-8 week injury and is unlikely to be ready for next weekend if Tennessee advances. Derrick Henry will again operate as the Titans' feature back on Saturday after playing 97% of the offensive snaps and racking up 29 touches in the regular-season finale. Of course, he's less likely to have game flow in his favor in Arrowhead.

Cardinals QB Carson Palmer announced his retirement on Tuesday. The 1st pick of the 2003 NFL Draft played 15 seasons for the Bengals, Raiders and Cardinals. He finishes with a career 62.5% completion rate, 294 TDs and 187 INTs in 182 games. Palmer's 46,247 passing yards rank 12th on the all-time list. His retirement leaves Arizona looking for both a new QB and a new HC -- and probably increases the chances WR Larry Fitzgerald hangs up the cleats.

Ravens WR Jeremy Maclin (knee) is inactive for today’s game against the Bengals. Breshad Perriman is also inactive, presumably as a healthy scratch. Mike Wallace, Chris Moore, and Michael Campanaro will serve as Baltimore’s top 3 WRs. Wallace is the only fantasy option.

Jets RB Matt Forte (knee) will miss Sunday's finale against the Patriots after being placed on IR. The 32-year-old has struggled with knee issues for most of the season and mustered just 3.7 yards per carry. His days as a fantasy asset are over. Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire will handle backfield duties in New England. Powell had already taken over as New York's lead back, totaling 63 carries over the past 4 weeks. He's in the RB2 mix for Week 17.

Buccaneers DE Robert Ayers (shoulder) is doubtful for Sunday's game against the Saints.

Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (knee) isn’t listed on the final Week 17 injury report. He was sidelined on Thursday but returned to a full practice on Friday. Bryant figures to play in Sunday’s meaningless finale against the Eagles, although Dallas could still limit his snaps. Bryant has been playing through knee tendonitis for the past couple of months.

 
 
 

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