Shark Bites

The Saints and QB Drew Brees have agreed to a 2-year, $50 million deal, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The 41-year-old Brees is a year-to-year proposition at this point, but we know he's at least back for 2020. He remained as efficient as ever last season, completing 74.3% of his passes, averaging 7.9 yards per attempt and tossing 27 TDs vs. just 4 INTs. Brees missed 5 games and most of another with that thumb injury but scored as fantasy's #2 QB in the other 10 games.

The 49ers on Monday announced a 5-year, $85 million extension for DE Arik Armstead, keeping him from hitting free agency. Armstead started his career a bit slowly, including missing 18 games across 2016-17. But he broke out with 10 sacks and 18 QB hits in his 5th season and won't turn 27 until mid-November. Expect Armstead to land in DL2 territory in our 2020 IDP rankings.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the 49ers have agreed to a 3-year, $28.5 million deal with S Jimmie Ward. The 28-year-old -- until mid-July -- is coming off the healthiest and strongest season among his 1st 6 in the league. In addition to staying on the field, Ward also settled in to a higher percentage of safety snaps than he played in 2018. Ward combines that role with some valuable slot-corner exposure to present IDP upside beyond last year's mediocre production.

NFL Network reports that the Giants have reached a 3-year, $30 million deal with free-agent LB Blake Martinez. The former Packer spent the past 3 years as an IDP stud after arriving in the 4th round of the 2016 draft. He now moves to a Giants D under new leadership. DC Patrick Graham has spent just 1 season to date as an NFL coordinator: 2019 with the Dolphins. We'll see exactly what his plan is for the LBs. Miami generally found more playing time last season for a 2nd ILB, though, than Green Bay did over the past 3 years. Martinez could lose some tackles off his elite totals from Green Bay -- especially if 2019 rookie Ryan Connelly is all the way back from his ACL tear by September. Expect Martinez to remain prominently in starter territory in our 2020 IDP rankings, but he might slip out of the LB1 range in our initial projections. New Packers LB Christian Kirksey, meanwhile, looks well set up for strong fantasy numbers.

On the same day they traded away WR DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans also agreed to a 3-year deal with WR Randall Cobb. NFL Network's James Jones reports it's a $27 million pact, including $18.75 million guaranteed. That comes a year after Cobb managed only a 1-year, $5 million contract with the Cowboys. Cobb did rebound with Dallas last season. He averaged 15.1 yards per catch after 4 straight seasons of 10.5 or less, and Pro Football Focus graded him a solid 57th among all WRs, up from 115th in 2018. But Cobb also averaged just 3.7 receptions per game as the #3 wideout and hasn't reached 56 yards per game since 2014. Cobb joins Kenny Stills and Will Fuller in a Houston WR corps with no clear leader. But they do, at least, have a dynamic young QB. Cobb will turn 30 in August.

ESPN's Marcel Louis-Jacques reports that the Bills have agreed to a 3-year deal with DE Mario Addison. The former Panther will turn 33 at the start of the coming season, but he delivered 9+ sacks each of the past 4 years. He joins a D-line that let Shaq Lawson walk for Miami without much edge-rushing firepower remaining. Carolina, meanwhile, has 2019 rookie Brian Burns ready to seek a larger role in Year 2. Burns' playing time tapered off as his debut season wore on.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that WR Amari Cooper "intends" to re-sign with the Cowboys on a 5-year, $100 million deal. Schefter adds that Washington tried to draw Cooper away on Monday but lost out. Staying in Dallas figures to be the best move for Cooper's fantasy outlook. He has produced WR1-level numbers since the mid-2018 trade. Cooper's decision keeps intact the top of a Cowboys passing game that also delivered a lot of fantasy points through QB Dak Prescott and WR Michael Gallup in 2019.

FOX Sports' Jay Glazer reports that the Bills have worked out a trade for WR Stefon Diggs. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero adds that Diggs and a 7th-round pick will go to Buffalo in exchange for 1st-, 5th- and 6th-round picks from the Bills plus a 4th-rounder in 2021. (Buffalo's Round 1 pick is #22.) Diggs won't turn 27 until late November and still has 4 years left on his current contract. He's coming off consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons, with a career-best 17.9 yards per catch in 2019. Diggs should challenge John Brown for the role of top WR in Buffalo, but the move isn't likely to help his fantasy outlook. The Bills have ranked among the league's most run-heavy offenses since before HC Sean McDermott arrived in 2017. In addition to Brown, WR Cole Beasley remains to eat up some targets. Add in QB Josh Allen's accuracy issues, and you get a potentially frustrating fantasy outlook for Diggs. The new guy's arrival also dings the fantasy outlooks for Brown and Beasley, though Diggs can only help Allen's upside. Minnesota, meanwhile, finds a gaping hole in its WR corps opposite Adam Thielen. We'll see how the Vikings address that need this offseason.

The Raiders have reached a deal with QB Marcus Mariota, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Mariota will back up QB Derek Carr, which doesn't help his fantasy outlook as much as landing in Chicago would have. But Carr doesn't look like the most secure starter in the league. Oakland's not a terrible spot. Still just 26 until Oct. 30, Mariota also likely has at least 1 more NFL contract beyond this one.

The Lions have reached a 3-year deal with LB Jamie Collins worth $30 million, according to multiple reports. Collins joins a LB corps in need of playmakers and should see full-time snaps right away. Bet on Collins leading the group in fantasy scoring, with upside into LB1 range at the position overall.

The Dolphins will be signing LB Kyle Van Noy to a 4-year, $51 million deal, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Van Noy produced LB3-level numbers his first 2 years in New England before slipping last season. His fantasy points per game dipped each of the past 2 seasons, though. Van Noy turns 29 this month and should still be in his prime. In Miami, he'll play under HC Brian Flores, who served as New England's LBs coach in Van Noy's first 2 Patriots campaigns. Expect Van Noy to play full-time snaps for the Dolphins and continue to see plenty of use as a blitzer.

The Seahawks have tendered TE Jacob Hollister at the 2nd-round level, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. That means he could sign with another team as a restricted free agent, but that team would owe Seattle a 2nd-round pick. Thus, Hollister looks likely to return to a Seattle squad that expects to return TE Will Dissly from injury and added Greg Olsen this offseason. We'll see if that whole trio makes the regular-season roster. It's too crowded a situation to make any attractive for best-ball fantasy football drafts.

The Bears on Monday reached a 2-year, $16 million deal with TE Jimmy Graham, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Graham is a surprising addition at a somewhat surprising cost. His playing time and production fell off late last season, and he'll turn 34 midway through the coming campaign. Chicago also still has TE Trey Burton under contract, though he could be a cut candidate. The Bears' TE corps looks like a situation to avoid for 2020.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Dolphins have agreed to a "massive deal" with free-agent CB Byron Jones. The former Cowboy is regarded as 1 of the league's top cover men, but that hasn't translated to much fantasy production the past couple of years. We'll see if that changes in a new defense.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Giants have agreed to a 3-year, $45 million deal (including $32 million guaranteed) with CB James Bradberry. The former Panther has defensed 10+ passes in each of his 4 seasons but topped out at 3 INTs in 2019. Bradberry should remain a solid but unspectacular IDP option in a weak Giants offense.

The 49ers on Monday traded DT DeForest Buckner to the Colts for a 1st-round pick. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Indianapolis is also extending Buckner's contract at a $21 million-per-year average salary. The move obviously sets up Buckner as a keystone in what should be an improving Colts offense. We'll see how losing Buckner affects San Francisco's top-shelf defense.

The Raiders have agreed to a 3-year, $21 million deal with LB Nick Kwiatkoski. The former Bear started 8 games for Chicago last season, filling in for each of the team's ILB starters at different points. He steps into a starting job in an Oakland LB corps with lots of tackles available. Tahir Whitehead is gone after leading the team with 108 tackles (79 solo) last season.

The Browns agreed to a 3-year, $18 million deal with QB Case Keenum on Monday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The deal includes $10 million guaranteed and likely locks Keenum in as Baker Mayfield's backup for at least the next couple of seasons. Keenum played for new Cleveland HC Kevin Stefanski in Minnesota in 2017, when Stefanski served as the Vikings' QBs coach.

The Buccaneers have agreed to a 2-year, $27 million deal with EDGE Jason Pierre-Paul, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Pierre-Paul missed the first 6 games last season because of a neck injury suffered in an offseason car accident. But he still managed 8.5 sacks in the remaining 10 contests. JPP turned 31 in January but clearly still got starter money from the Bucs.

The Steelers are using the franchise tag to keep OLB Bud Dupree off the open market. The former 1st-round pick jumped to 11.5 sacks in his 5th season after topping out at 6 sacks among his previous 4 campaigns. Dupree's 17 QB hits in 2019 mark a steadier climb, compared with 6, 7, 7 and 13 over the previous 4 years.

 
 
 

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