RB Raheem Mostert has asked the 49ers to trade him, according to his agent. Brett Tessler tweeted that he and his client have requested a trade "after months of unproductive talks with the 49ers about fairly adjusting Raheem Mostert's contract." This will be an interesting situation to watch in a backfield that has already sent Matt Breida to Miami. For now, we'd continue drafting Mostert at the same level. A trade shouldn't hurt his value, since it would presumably involve a team seeking to leverage his talent. Tevin Coleman, meanwhile, gets at least a slight upside boost on the chance that Mostert does get moved. Coleman's RB4-level ADP already makes him a solid value. Jerick McKinnon also remains under contract with the 49ers and would gain opportunity upside if Mostert moves.
Patriots RB Rex Burkhead has agreed to a restructured deal. He gets a $550,000 signing bonus but drops his base salary from $2.5 million to $1.05 million, according to ESPN's Field Yates. The forgotten man in New England's backfield, Burkhead ranked 47th among RBs in total PPR points last year and finished as a top-24 RB in 4 of his 13 games. He's worth considering at the tail end of best-ball drafts.
The Chiefs and QB Patrick Mahomes have agreed to a 10-year extension, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. That keeps the 24-year-old in Kansas City through the 2031 campaign. Mahomes, of course, is on a Hall-of-Fame trajectory, averaging 304 passing yards and 2.5 TDs per game over the past 2 seasons. He sits #1 in our Dynasty QB Rankings.
Browns TE David Njoku has requested a trade, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. We're frankly surprised it took this long after Cleveland handed TE Austin Hooper a big 4-year, $44 million deal in free agency (and added Florida Atlantic TE Harrison Bryant in the 4th round of this spring's draft). Njoku's 2019 campaign was ruined by a broken wrist in September. But the former 1st-round pick turns just 24 later this month and compiled 88 catches, 1,025 yards and 8 TDs over his first 2 NFL seasons. He should garner plenty of interest on the trade market. Now might be a good time to buy Njoku in your dynasty leagues.
ESPN's Lindsey Thiry calls it "a toss-up" whether Darrell Henderson or Cam Akers will lead the Rams backfield in touches this season. "Expect Henderson to earn more touches early in the season, given Akers could take extra time to acclimate because of the virtual offseason program," Thiry adds. That scenario certainly seems possible, but it's also just a guess at this point. The Rams' heavy draft investment in Akers this spring just a year after they selected Henderson (a round later) leaves us expecting Akers to lead the backfield. The uncertainty of the situation is worth keeping in mind as you consider both players in best-ball drafts this summer.
ESPN's Jeff Legwold says "the Broncos will likely split the work in the running game 50-50" between Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay. Legwold adds that Gordon "has been more active" as a receiver than Lindsay. We agree that Gordon looks like the much better bet for passing-game work. HC Vic Fangio has lauded the veteran as a 3-down back, while Lindsay has yet to impress as either a receiver or pass blocker. (He has especially struggled in protection.) We certainly also expect a fair amount of rushing work for Lindsay -- but we'd also be pretty surprised if he and Gordon truly split carries evenly. Denver gave Gordon $13.5 million guaranteed on a 2-year contract after Lindsay led the team in rushing each of the past 2 seasons. OC Pat Shurmur's history has also favored a lead RB.
ESPN's Jamison Hensley says Ravens rookie RB J.K. Dobbins will "be the primary backup in 2020 to Mark Ingram." Backup is probably the wrong word for this description, but we certainly won't be surprised if Dobbins opens his debut season running behind Ingram. The veteran didn't miss a game last season until Baltimore's meaningless finale, while averaging 5.0 yards per carry and 9.5 yards per catch for the year. We do, however, project the rookie to outscore Ingram -- who will turn 31 in December -- in fantasy for the season.
ESPN Dolphins beat writer Cameron Wolfe has an interesting "early projection" for Miami's new backfield: "[Jordan Howard is] a true workhorse who fits well in the Dolphins' power scheme. Don't be surprised if Howard comes close to doubling up [Matt] Breida in carries, but Breida's value will come in the passing game, where he should receive most of the touches and increased playing time when Miami is trailing." Wolfe's opinion is worth noting, but this reads as just that rather than a report on the team's usage plans. Frankly, we'd be shocked if Howard comes anywhere close to doubling Breida's carry count -- as you can see in our 2020 RB rankings. But we agree with the expectation that Howard leads the team in carries while Breida operates as the lead back in the passing game.
The Patriots have signed QB Cam Newton to a 1-year, "incentive-laden" deal, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. This fit has made sense since March, when QB Tom Brady signed with the Bucs and Newton was dumped by the Panthers. The trouble of getting Newton in for a physical with the Coronavirus concerns likely delayed the signing. Newton turned 31 in May and missed 16 games over the last 2 seasons with shoulder and foot injuries. But he also completed a career-high 68% of his passes with 24 TDs and 13 INTs in 2018, while also running for 488 yards and 4 TDs. New England is seemingly high on Jarrett Stidham -- but a healthy Newton will likely prove to be the best QB in town. He's the Patriots QB to take a shot on late in best-ball drafts. We'll look for reports on his health and standing on the Patriots' depth chart. See where Newton lands in the updated QB Rankings.
Browns WR Odell Beckham is back to 100% after January sports hernia surgery, HC Kevin Stefanski said Thursday. Beckham disappointed with a 25th-place fantasy finish last year. But he played the entire season with a core-muscle injury, was operating in a new offense with a new QB and dealt with a questionable coaching staff. Stefanski's run-heavy history is a slight concern, but Beckham is still a prime bounce-back candidate in 2020.
Here's what Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott told the media on Wednesday about his case of Coronavirus: “I would say I had maybe one or two days when I felt symptoms. Even then, it wasn’t too bad. I had a cough and a little bit of shortness of breath. Now, I feel good. I feel normal.” Although there's still plenty we don't know about this virus, it shouldn't be an issue for Zeke by the time training camp gets going. You could even argue that his fantasy value gets a boost if he's now immune to getting sick during the season.
The Seahawks and Ravens have discussed signing WR Antonio Brown, NFL Network's Mike Silver reports. Brown has had numerous off-field issues since being released by the Raiders and Patriots over a 2-week span this past September. Silver believes Brown "may be facing a suspension of about half a season." Of course, he posted a 105-1,2297-15 line in his last full season back in 2018 and went for 56 yards and a score in his only game last year. There are worse late-round fliers in best-ball drafts right now.
Seahawks TE Colby Parkinson broke the 5th metatarsal in his foot (Jones Fracture) earlier this offseason, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Parkinson had surgery on June 2. That figures to sideline the rookie at least into August. He was unlikely to be a 2020 fantasy factor, anyways, behind Greg Olsen, Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott is expected to sign his franchise tag on Monday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. That ensures Prescott will be in Dallas for 2020, when he'll earn $31.4 million. He and the Cowboys will have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal. ESPN's Ed Werder reports that the 2 sides aren't particularly close to an agreement.
49ers WR Deebo Samuel suffered a Jones Fracture in his foot during a throwing session with teammates on Tuesday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Samuel is undergoing surgery on Thursday and is expected to be sidelined for 12-16 weeks, per Rapoport. That timeline would have Samuel out until sometime between early September and early October. And Jones Fractures are tricky. We often see the injury aggravated or cause compensatory issues. Samuel just sunk down our WR rankings. His injury creates even more opportunity for 1st-round rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk.
Browns RB Kareem Hunt has been "cross-training" with the WRs this spring, Pass Game Coordinator and WR coach Chad O'Shea said. Hunt was heavily involved in the passing game in his 8 games last year, tallying a 37-285-1 line on 44 targets. He ranked 10th in yards per route run among 30 RBs with 20+ targets over that span. Hunt ran a pass route on 61% of his snaps last year and actually lined up at WR on 31% of his snaps. So it's not crazy to project him to spend a bunch of time there again in 2020 -- especially since the Browns don't have a clear-cut #3 WR behind Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry. Hunt has obvious RB1 upside if Nick Chubb misses time this season, but he could also be a fantasy option alongside a healthy Chubb.
Giants K Aldrick Rosas was arrested on Tuesday and charged with a hit-and-run and driving on a suspended license. He reportedly T-boned another vehicle when he ran a red light at about 100 mph -- and then fled the scene. Authorities believe alcohol was involved. Rosas figures to draw a suspension from the league for this, and the Giants might just opt to release him. Avoid him in upcoming fantasy drafts.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott recently tested positive for COVID-19, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Zeke is reportedly 1 of multiple Cowboys and Texans players who have tested positive. The identities of the others have not been released. Elliott is "feeling good" now, his agent said. The longer-term impacts of the virus are still unknown, though, so Elliott's status will need to be monitored. Of course, players testing positive figures to be a fairly common occurrence this summer and into the 2020 campaign.
Patriots RB Sony Michel had surgery on his foot in May, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports. "The surgery was viewed as more maintenance-based to help relieve discomfort that Michel had been experiencing," Reiss adds. It sounds like a relatively minor procedure, but the timing might impact Michel's availability for the start of training camp. Any missed time would open the door for 2nd-year back Damien Harris to carve out a role.
Raiders WR Henry Ruggs is expected to be ready for training camp, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Ruggs suffered a cut to his thigh when he got pinned between a car and trailer while helping his friend move in May. He needed stitches but suffered no muscular damage, per Schefter. This should be a non-story going forward.
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