Shark Bites

Rams TE Tyler Higbee suffered a chest injury in Sunday's game against the Saints and is done for the day. A prolonged absence for him would make TE Gerald Everett a more intriguing fantasy option. We'll look for more info on Higbee's status.

Rams DE Aaron Donald left Sunday's game against the Saints with a back injury. He is a questionable to return.

Update: Donald returned in the 2nd quarter.

Rams S Eric Weddle suffered a head laceration against the Panthers and is officially doubtful to return. We'll see about his status heading into Week 2.

The Eagles expect WR DeSean Jackson to play against Washington in the regular-season opener next Sunday, despite his fractured left ring finger. Dave Spadaro of the team website said as much during the Thursday night broadcast of Philly's final preseason game. The injury is bound to inhibit his ability to catch a bit, but it's tough to argue Jackson's upside following a highly buzzy summer.

Eagles WR DeSean Jackson is scheduled to see a hand specialist on Wednesday after breaking his left ring finger in Tuesday's practice, ESPN's Tim McManus reports. ESPN's Josina Anderson, meanwhile, hears that D-Jax was told it's a 3-4 week injury but that he'll try to play through it with a custom splint. This will be a situation to keep a close eye on over the next 12 days leading up to Philly's opener against the Redskins. Any concern about Jackson's ability to catch will make him an avoid in early-season fantasy lineups.

Eagles WR DeSean Jackson broke the ring finger on his left hand during Tuesday's practice, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. "My understanding is he’s not expected to miss time and the team is not concerned," Rapoport adds. We'll keep a close eye on this one considering hands are fairly important for WRs. But we're not moving D-Jax in the WR rankings.

Insider Jay Glazer writes that Rams WR Cooper Kupp might just be better now than before he tore his ACL last November. "All his test scores, coming out of his breaks, agility, quickness, every test timed better than it was before he tore his ACL," according to Glazer. It's another in a long list of glowing reports on Kupp's recovery from that shredded knee. His ADP has climbed to WR21 -- but he's still capable of returning value at that price tag. Kupp ranked 15th among WRs in PPR points per game last year.

Rams WR Cooper Kupp, now almost 9 months removed from his torn ACL, participated in contact practices with the Chargers. "A guy gives you a pop, you roll up, hit the ground and pop back up," Kupp said of taking a hit. "Honestly, I didn't really realize I'd gone down. And it's like, 'Oh, yeah, my first time really being hit and being on the ground.' But it felt great. You get that first one out of the way, and you're good." This is just about the last step in Kupp's rehab. He continues to trend toward being a full-go come Week 1.

The Rams' plan this season is for RB Darrell Henderson to be a "Chris Thompson type," according to Yahoo's Charles Robinson. Across HC Sean McVay's final 2 years as Redskins OC, Thompson carried 103 times and caught 84 of 110 targets. He finished 55th and then 28th among RBs in PPR points. Fantasy owners drafting Henderson at his early-7th-round ADP have to be hoping for at least a bit more work for the rookie this season. We currently project Henderson for 96 carries and 24 catches.

Rams HC Sean McVay said Friday that WR Cooper Kupp will be on the field for Saturday's initial training-camp practice. "He's going to be ready to go," McVay told ESPN's Lindsay Thiry. "We've got kind of basically a volume that we have targeted for each day of practice. He can partake in all the activities. We'll monitor him and pick and choose which periods he can be a full participant." Barring a setback with his repaired knee, Kupp should be in consideration for fantasy football drafts. There's no special value in his current WR25 ADP, though.

Rams WR Cooper Kupp will not be placed on the PUP list to open training camp, NFL Network's Steve Wyche reports. "His workload will be measured," Wyche adds. Kupp is now about 8-and-a-half months removed from his torn ACL. Being cleared to at least take part in some work this early is excellent news and puts him on track to be on the field come Week 1. Kupp ranked 15th among WRs in PPR points per game last year after finishing 25th in total PPR points as a rookie. He's been the 25th WR off the board in Draft.com best balls over the past 2 weeks.

The Rams expect 2nd-year LB Micah Kiser to step in for Mark Barron this season, according to the team website. L.A. released Barron after last season, jettisoning an ILB starter who played 74% of the snaps over his 12 games. Kiser sounds headed for a similar role. “It’ll be in those first and second-down plays for sure,” DC Wade Phillips said, via Myles Simmons of the team website. “Cory [Littleton] is such a good coverage guy and then we’ve got a lot of safeties that can come in and help us on third downs, so I think his main role certainly right now will be first and second down as a base defensive player.” We'll see if Kiser can grow beyond that, but he entered the league as a thumper who rated poorly in coverage. Missing sub-package situations will obviously limit his tackle upside. Kiser's realistic IDP ceiling for 2019 likely sits in LB4 range. He'll begin the year as a waiver-wire watch.

Lions QB Matt Stafford played through "broken bones in his back" last season, according to Mike O’Hara of the team's official website. Stafford was listed on the injury report for the final 4 games of the year, but this is the 1st we've heard of the extent of the injury. He did struggle in those final 4 outings, averaging just 6.0 yards per attempt with 3 total TDs. But Stafford's bigger problem last season was Detroit's renewed commitment to the run, which left Stafford with a career-low 34.7 pass attempts per game. His volume might drop again in 2019 with the arrival of run-loving O Darrell Bevell. Stafford is just a lower-end QB2 in fantasy drafts.

The Rams spent a 2nd-round pick on S Taylor Rapp on Friday night. The former Washington Husky should get a shot at replacing S LaMarcus Joyner, who left for Oakland in free agency. Rapp started for most of his 3 years at Washington, stepping into the lineup and grabbing 4 INTs as a true freshman. He earned 1st-team all-conference honors each of the past 2 years and ranked 2nd on the team in sacks last year with 4. Rapp totaled just 74 solo tackles over the past 2 seasons, though, and might not be in a great spot for tackle collection with the Rams. He looks like a potentially decent IDP option rather than a future stud.

The Rams selected Memphis RB Darrell Henderson in the 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Henderson posted eye-popping numbers for the Tigers. He took 130 carries for 1,154 yards (8.9 YPC) and 9 TDs as a sophomore in 2017. Then he posted a matching 8.9 yards per carry last year, this time racking up 1,909 yards and 22 scores on 214 totes. The big-play machine busted off 27 runs of 20+ yards and 12 of 40+ in 2018 alone. He ranked 2nd in this RB class in Pro Football Focus’ Elusive Rating. Henderson also proved capable in the passing game, totaling 63 catches for 758 yards (12.0 YPC) and 8 TDs across 3 college seasons. He disappointed with a 4.53-second 40 time at the Combine (he plays much faster) but still came away with a 67th percentile SPARQ score. This is obviously a rough landing spot for Henderson — at least in the short term. But the pick might hint at some real concern about Todd Gurley’s knee.

Rams WR Cooper Kupp tells the team website, "I think I'm where I'm supposed to be" in his recovery from the November ACL tear and resulting surgery. Kupp recently got back on the field for running and agility drills, and a member of the training staff echoed his assessment of the process. We'll obviously need to keep an eye on Kupp through the offseason and then training camp, but he seems on track for the beginning of the 2019 season. That said, his current PlayDraft ADP or WR21 in the middle of Round 5 strikes us as a bit high.

The Buccaneers have agreed to a trade that will send WR DeSean Jackson to the Eagles. Once it's official, the move would give Philly the deep threat that Mike Wallace wasn't able to provide in 2018. There's room for Jackson to rank 2nd among Eagles WRs in targets, though he's not likely to crack the team's top 2. Having Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz ahead of him will limit the target ceiling. Jackson's departure clears the way for WR Chris Godwin to remain the #2 in Tampa going forward.

Update: Philly will also sign Jackson to a new 3-year, $27 million deal -- confirmation that he's set to play a big role in the offense.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Rams will sign S Eric Weddle, whom Baltimore released earlier this week. Weddle -- who turned 34 in January -- still checked in 10th among safeties in Pro Football Focus grading last season. He's expected to step in for S LaMarcus Joyner, who will hit free agency next week.

The Ravens are releasing veteran S Eric Weddle. It's a salary-driven move on a player Pro Football Focus graded 10th-best among safeties in 2018, his age-33 season. Weddle should be able to find a new home if he wants to keep playing. We'll see who Baltimore taps to replace him.

The Lions and OC Jim Bob Cooter have agreed to "mutually" part ways, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. A favorite of the Draft Sharks podcast, Cooter's tenure in Detroit got off to a nice start. But he was at the controls of 1 of the most disappointing offenses in the league in 2018, with the Lions finishing 24th in total yards and 25 in points. With a nice core in Matt Stafford, Kerryon Johnson, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, this unit is capable of a big bounce back in 2019.

 
 
 

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