Vikings RB Dalvin Cook will not take part in any team-related activities without a new contract, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. "He's out," a source told Schefter. "Without a reasonable extension, he will not be showing up for camp or beyond." Cook is set to make $1.3 million in 2020, the final year of his rookie deal. He reportedly wants to match or exceed the $13 million per year David Johnson is making. Johnson is currently the 4th-highest-paid RB in the NFL, behind Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott and Le'Veon Bell. We're still more than 3 months from the start of the 2020 campaign, so Cook and the Vikings have plenty of time to come to an agreement. We're not adjusting Cook's baseline projections now -- but we did lower his floor projection on your MVP Board to account for the elevated risk. If Cook does end up sitting out games, Alexander Mattison would likely step in as Minnesota's lead back. RB Mike Boone would also figure to take on a bigger role.
Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy has been 1 of the players QB Drew Lock has been throwing to daily at Denver-area field recently, insider Mike Klis reports. This would be a non-story in a normal year, but these types of workouts have taken on increased importance with the COVID-impacted offseason. That's especially true for a rookie WR and a 2nd-year QB. Jeudy has a clear path to join WR Courtland Sutton atop Denver's depth chart this year.
New Browns OC Alex Van Pelt this week called RB Kareem Hunt's role "something we have to keep growing," according to Cleveland.com. Van Pelt added: "We have to find a way to put the best players on the field and the matchups that will come with that each week, and it will change weekly. Kareem is an extremely talented runner ... and he is exceptional out of the backfield. He is just a football player who loves to play. We have to find ways to get him the ball." Hunt ranked 3rd among all Browns in targets after taking the field last season, trailing only Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry. He saw just 20.9% of carries, though, vs. Nick Chubb's 69.9% rushing share. Obviously, any further growth to Hunt's opportunities would likely hurt Chubb's, though there's room for these Browns to go more run-heavy overall. Last year's offense went about 60-40 in pass-run split, ranking 18th in the league in passing share. Hunt is intriguing at his current RB30 ADP, going around the 5-6 turn in best-ball drafts. Chubb carries much more risk at his late Round 1 ADP.
Bucs HC Bruce Arians called '12' personnel his "base offense" on Thursday. ('12' personnel means 1 RB, 2 WRs and 2 TEs.) The Bucs went '12' on 23% of their snaps last season -- the 8th highest rate in the league. Over the past 2 seasons, only 1 team (the 2019 Eagles) has gone '12' on more than 36% of their snaps. We'll buy the Bucs using more 2-TE looks this year after adding Rob Gronkowski to O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. But don't expect it to be their most common alignment. It's still unlikely that more than 1 of those TEs is a reliable fantasy option. The other result of more 2-TE sets will be more snaps outside the numbers for WR Chris Godwin. That might ding his volume a tad but shouldn't be a big concern overall. Godwin was actually more efficient outside the numbers last season, averaging 2.27 yards per route run vs. 2.22 in the slot.
Raiders WR Henry Ruggs suffered a cut to his thigh while moving things into a trailer recently, his father told AL.com. "He was trying to move a trailer or something -- move furniture or something -- and the trailer just kind of pinned him against a car or a wall or something," Ruggs' father said. "He's pretty much OK ... It was just like a little open wound on his leg, a little incision." A Raiders source tells ESPN's Paul Gutierrez that Ruggs "will be fine." But his father revealed that he's using crutches to get around. We probably won't learn much more about the injury until players are cleared to report to their teams.
Ravens HC John Harbaugh sees more deep passes as the next evolution in QB Lamar Jackson's game. "Those corners are going to be one-on-one and those safeties are going to be one-on-one against receivers, especially on some downfield throws, and we got to make them pay for it. We absolutely have to make them pay," Harbaugh said. "The ability to make them pay for tilting their defense toward stopping our run game with a really, really efficient passing game. I do believe that's the next step of this offense. I really do believe Lamar is going to take the next step." Jackson was already efficient on deep balls last year, posting the league's 6th highest passer rating on throws 20+ yards downfield, according to Pro Football Focus. But he ranked just 19th with 55 pass attempts of 20+ yards. It sounds like Harbaugh wants that number to rise in 2020. Baltimore certainly has the right guys at WR to make that happen. Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin and Devin Duvernay all boast plus speed.
Steelers WR Diontae Johnson told reporters that he played almost his entire rookie season with a groin injury that required surgery this offseason. Johnson got hurt in Week 2. "I was running and it felt like my groin got a little tight on me,” he said. He had surgery shortly after the season ended and is expecting to be cleared soon. The fact that he was playing at less than 100% only makes Johnson's rookie season more impressive. He compiled a 59-680-5 line on a Steelers team that ranked 31st in passing yards and 28th in TDs. Johnson is a 2nd-year breakout candidate if he gets improved QB play from a healthy Ben Roethlisberger.
Texans WR Will Fuller is making "steady progress" from his January sports hernia surgery, according to the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson. Fuller has resumed running and should be a full-go when training camp opens. He's missed 22 games through 4 NFL seasons but has been a difference-maker when healthy. 2020 is a contract year for Fuller.
The Jets have signed QB Joe Flacco to a 1-year deal. It's worth $1.5 million with another $3 million available through incentives. Flacco is still recovering from April neck surgery and isn't expected to be cleared until "mid-September," according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. A healthy Flacco should slide in as QB Sam Darnold's backup. Darnold has dealt with a sprained foot, mono, a toe injury and another foot injury through 2 NFL seasons.
The Seahawks have signed RB Carlos Hyde to a 1-year deal. That follows reports that Seattle had offered RB Devonta Freeman a contract, so the team was clearly looking to add to its backfield. Hyde played surprisingly well in Houston last year, averaging 4.4 yards per carry on 245 attempts. He ranked 32nd in Elusive Rating and 10th in Pro Football Focus' rushing grades among 45 RBs with 100+ carries. Hyde is solid insurance behind RBs Chris Carson (hip) and Rashaad Penny (ACL), who are both recovering from serious injuries. Carson is expected to be ready for Week 1, but Penny isn't. We'd expect Hyde to open the season as Seattle's #2 RB, although his arrival does add some downside to Carson's 2020 fantasy outlook.
Browns WR Jarvis Landry (hip) suggested in a Zoom call with the Cleveland media on Wednesday that he's not a lock to be ready for Week 1. “Right now, I’m a little bit ahead of schedule," he said. "But the most important thing right now is just taking it day by day. You know, I can’t predict when exactly I’ll be on the field, whether that’s July, August or September." Landry went on to say that his "anticipated" return date is "sometime in August." He was originally slapped with a 6-8 month timetable for return after his February 4 hip surgery. The short end of that timeline would have Landry back in early August, but the long end would run into October. We'll continue to monitor Landry's rehab.
Falcons TE Hayden Hurst told ESPN's Mina Kimes that he's been making the 5-hour drive from Jacksonville to Atlanta to catch passes from QB Matt Ryan for the past 4 weeks. "That’s helping me a lot," Hurst said. "That’s really going to pay off during training camp." Acquired from the Ravens in March, Hurst hasn't been able to get any official workouts in with his new team due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But any chemistry he can build with his QB is good news for his 2020 fantasy outlook. Hurst as TE1 upside this season as he replaces Austin Hooper, who averaged 6.4 targets per game over the last 2 seasons.
Dolphins WR Preston Williams (knee) is "on schedule" for Week 1, according to The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson. Williams is rehabbing his November torn ACL. He was enjoying an excellent rookie campaign before going down, compiling a 32-428-3 line in 8 games. Williams sat 36th among WRs in PPR points at that time. Miami didn't make any significant additions to its WR corps this offseason, which would appear to be a vote of confidence in Williams. If healthy, he should open the 2020 campaign as a starter alongside DeVante Parker.
Steelers WR Ryan Switzer was encouraged by what he saw from QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) in a recent throwing session. “Man, he let it rip,” Switzer said. “There was no restraint, no hesitancy, he was just out there. He has been throwing like that for a while and, in my opinion at least, getting out there on that field for the first time and throwing full-speed routes was refreshing. The control factor was taken out of it. He was out there and he was throwing. Did some off-schedule stuff. No restraints. He threw everything — across his body. Everything.” All reports on Roethlisberger's recovery from September surgery on his throwing elbow have been positive. His health is the key to a bounce-back season for the Steelers offense. We'll continue to keep a close eye on Big Ben's progress.
Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy called rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire a "piece of the puzzle” when discussing his 2020 backfield. Bieniemy also mentioned Damien Williams, Darwin Thompson and DeAndre Washington as pieces. He went on to call Edwards-Helaire a “special kid … running the ball, having the ability to get outside in the open field, make some plays as a receiver. You can create matchups with him. He’s one of those ideal kids that fit in what we do.” We know the Chiefs are high on CEH after they spent the 32nd overall pick on him last month. And we’re expecting him to lead the backfield in touches and fantasy points this season. The question is just how much of the work he’ll garner. Fantasy drafters are assuming it’ll be a whole bunch. Edwards-Helaire’s ADP is currently sitting in the early 3rd round.
The Saints have signed RB Ty Montgomery, according to insider Nick Underhill. The 27-year-old was a non-factor with the Jets last season but compiled 107 catches over his first 4 NFL seasons (3.5 with the Packers and the rest with the Ravens). We're interested to see what HC Sean Payton does with Montgomery's unique skill set, but he's unlikely to be a fantasy asset without an injury to Alvin Kamara.
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin called RB James Conner a "featured guy" and "proven runner when healthy" in a recent conference call with reporters. “I’m a featured-runner type guy by mentality,” Tomlin added. “I think that when you have a featured runner, it gives him the opportunity to drop a stake in the ground and allows others to rally around him, and it gives him a set of core base run plays that he specializes in, and you find a rhythm that way.” Tomlin has had a RB top 240 carries in 7 of his 13 seasons with the Steelers. But Conner has had trouble staying healthy; the Steelers have added Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland to the backfield over the last 3 drafts; and longtime Steelers insider Ed Bouchette expects more of a committee backfield this season. It'll be a situation to monitor closely throughout the summer. Right now, Conner carries a wide range of 2020 outcomes, making him a risk/reward pick in the 4th or 5th round of fantasy drafts.
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin is "extremely confident" QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) will be ready for Week 1. Big Ben is recovering from September surgery on his throwing elbow. “We like where we are," Tomlin said. "He’s throwing on a rehab schedule, and it’s going well, and we fully anticipate him being ready to go for that opener.” A healthy Roethlisberger is the key to a bounce-back season for WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and the rest of Pittsburgh's offense.
No one should be expecting new Washington RB Antonio Gibson to approach Christian McCaffrey in production at any point. But tell us, Coach Rivera, is it crazy to compare their styles? "No, that's fair. He's a little bit bigger than Christian, but he's got a skill set like Christian," Rivera told ESPN's John Keim. "This is a very versatile, young football player that we really think is going to be a guy that can get on the field for us early and contribute." Again, no one is saying Gibson will ever become the guy who racked up 326 and then 403 touches over the past 2 seasons. But Ron Rivera's words are worth noting because he just finished coaching McCaffrey for 3 years in Carolina and now leads the team that drafted Gibson in Round 3. Take it as a mark in favor of Gibson's long-term upside. And the "get on the field for us early" makes Gibson an intriguing later-round option for 2020 redraft. There's opportunity available in a Washington backfield with more questions than answers currently.
Jets LB C.J. Mosley tells ESPN's Rich Cimini that he's getting close to full strength in his return from groin surgery and that he should be ready by training camp. “I wouldn’t say it’s 100 percent,” Mosley said. “I haven’t made those (cutting) movements, but I feel good. Mentally and physically, I feel great. It’s just a matter of getting on the field and doing it.” Mosley reportedly was on track to participate in offseason workouts, had those occurred. We'll certainly track him through the summer, but expect him to get back to being an IDP factor after missing basically all of his 1st Jets season.
©2020 Draft Sharks | website by:
687 Lee Road, Suite 208, Rochester, NY 14606 | 833-333-7238