Patriots TE Ben Watson has been suspended 4 games for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. Watson admitted in a Facebook post that he took a banned substance after he announced his retirement earlier this offseason. The Pats knew of the impending ban when they signed Watson, so it shouldn't impact his odds of making the team. But it makes him pretty much undraftable in fantasy drafts. Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Matt LaCosse figure to open the season atop New England's TE depth chart.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has been impressed by TE Jason Witten this spring. “I guess the trick is to take a year off because he’s definitely gotten better, stronger and faster,” Prescott said. “He hasn’t lost a step.” Witten won't be out-athleting any defenders this season, but it's still nice to hear he's looking good at 37 years old after taking 2018 off. We'll see how he holds up throughout training camp and the season. Witten posted a 63-560-5 line and 9th-place PPR finish when we saw him last in 2017. We'd bet against that level of production this year, but Witten could be a useful spot-start option for fantasy squads.
Texans HC Bill O'Brien said RB D'Onta Foreman is making "good progress" as he continues to work back from 2017's torn Achilles. "I think he’s had a really good time away from us, and that’s parlayed into a good spring," O'Brien added. Foreman got back on the field last December and is encouraged by how this offseason has gone. "I’m fluid. I feel good. My mindset is really good right now," he said. "A year ago, I didn’t know what I would be like coming back, if I would ever be the same. I had a lot of stuff going through my mind. Right now, I’m just in a good spirit and looking forward to the season." A healthy Foreman is plenty capable of pushing RB Lamar Miller for work this year. We'll be keeping a close eye on the situation when training camp opens.
Speaking Wednesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league won't interfere with the legal proceedings for Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill's child abuse investigation. "We will obviously be cooperative with whatever the court wants," Goodell continued. "We are prepared to go ahead and have an interview whenever we have the permission to do so and then we’ll go ahead and make a determination based on what information we have at that time.” Hill has not been suspended by the league or put on the Commissioner's Exempt List, but the Chiefs have told him to stay away from team activities. We'll continue to keep a close eye on the situation. Fantasy owners should be drafting right now as if Hill will be suspended 6+ games.
Panthers TE Greg Olsen has been fully cleared from his right foot trouble, he told reporters Wednesday. Olsen broke that foot in each of the past 2 seasons and ruptured the plantar fascia late last year. We'll see how the 34-year-old holds up the rest of this offseason. A healthy Olsen still has TE1 potential, but he should only be drafted as a bench stash at this point.
49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo has taken part in individual and 7-on-7 drills in OTAs this week but been held out of full-team work. HC Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo won't be fully cleared from last September's torn ACL until training camp. Garoppolo seems happy with his progress, though, noting that he's lifting more and no longer experience swelling in that surgically repaired knee. He'll be over 11 months removed from the injury when the 2019 season kicks off.
The Raiders have signed former Colts TE Erik Swoope. A converted basketball player, Swoope has caught just 23 balls over 5 NFL seasons -- but he's averaged 16.7 yards per catch and scored 4 times. There's theoretical upside here, but time is running out for Swoope to reach it. He at least lands in a wide-open TE group alongside Darren Waller, rookie Foster Moreau and Luke Willson. This will be a position battle to monitor this summer.
Titans TE Delanie Walker says he's at "85%" as he rehabs last September's fractured and dislocated right ankle. "Today I felt fast getting out of my breaks, and I was catching the ball well," he added after Tuesday's OTA. Walker was a full-go in individual drills but did very little in team work, according to the Nashville Tennessean. Prior to last year, Walker had finished as a top-11 TE in 5 straight seasons. He's capable of returning to that level of production if healthy. But the ankle is a real concern for the soon-to-be 35-year-old. We'll keep a close eye on him this summer.
49ers RB Matt Breida has a "slightly" torn pectoral, HC Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday. Breida avoided surgery, and while he'll miss OTAs, he's expected to be ready for training camp. Despite playing on a bum ankle for most of 2018, Breida averaged a big 5.3 yards per carry last year. It'll be interesting to see what kind of role he can carve out in a 2019 backfield that added Tevin Coleman and returns Jerick McKinnon from a torn ACL. Breida is just a late-round flier in early fantasy drafts.
Seahawks RB Chris Carson "had some work done" on his knee this offseason, HC Pete Carroll revealed Tuesday. That's "surgery" in Carroll-speak. Carroll added that Carson will only be out "a couple more weeks," so it sounds like he'll be ready in plenty of time for training camp. Carson's absence creates some added opportunity for Rashaad Penny, but Carson still figures to open camp atop the depth chart.
Bills WR Cole Beasley had core-muscle surgery "a few weeks ago," HC Sean McDermott said Tuesday. McDermott didn't give a timetable for Beasley's return, but he figures to be ready by the time training camp rolls around. We'll keep an eye on him. Beasley looks like a low-upside PPR option for 2019.
Bills TE Tyler Kroft broke his foot in Monday's OTA session and will undergo surgery, HC Sean McDermott said. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that Kroft is expected to be sidelined 3-4 months. That'd have him back right around the start of the season -- although foot injuries come with an elevated risk of setbacks. We'll track Kroft's progress this summer, but he wasn't much of a fantasy option to begin with. Rookie Dawson Knox and Jason Croom are behind Kroft on the depth chart and will now get extended run in August.
Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (knee) is not participating in OTAs this week -- although he was running on a side field on Tuesday, according to insider Phillip Heilman. Lee suffered ligament damage to a knee in a preseason game last August and missed the entire 2018 campaign. We never got further details on the injury, but it was clearly significant to have Lee still rehabbing 9 months later. We'll see if he's ready for the start of training camp in July. For now, Lee is just a late-round flier in fantasy drafts.
Washington LB Reuben Foster is "believed to have suffered a torn ACL, plus additional damage" in a non-contact drill Monday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. He added that the "injury has been described as major and significant" (which seems redundant). Foster is reportedly getting further opinions to determine the extent of the damage, but it sure sounds like he'll miss the coming season. Washington dumped Zach Brown in the offseason after he spent 2 years starting next to Mason Foster. Brown has since signed with the Eagles. Top candidates currently on the roster to fill the void are Shaun Dion Hamilton and Josh Harvey-Clemons. The Reuben Foster injury adds IDP upside to Mason Foster.
Eagles QB Carson Wentz (back) will have "no limitations" in OTAs this week, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. "The team will be smart with him, of course, but he’s expected to be involved in the majority of all work," Rapoport adds. Wentz missed the final 3 games of last season -- plus 2 playoff games -- with a stress fracture in his back. It'll certainly be a situation to monitor this summer, but he's obviously on track to be ready for Week 1. A healthy Wentz boasts top-5 fantasy upside.
Colts GM Chris Ballard said WR Deon Cain (knee) is expected to be on the field for training camp but likely won't be back to 100% until "midway" through the season. Last year's 6th-rounder is still rehabbing last August's torn ACL. He was buzzing before that injury and remains a nice dynasty stash. But Cain is a long shot to make a 2019 fantasy impact in a WR corps that added Devin Funchess and Parris Campbell this offseason.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the league has suspended Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson for 6 games for violating the PED policy. Peterson is reportedly not appealing the ban. He's not much of an IDP factor, so the biggest fantasy impact will be on Arizona's first 6 opponents. The Lions, Ravens, Panthers, Seahawks, Bengals and Falcons can enjoy having their lead WRs running free of 1 of the league's top cover men. As for the Cardinals defense, Peterson's early absence should make it easier for 2nd-round rookie Byron Murphy to start right away. Robert Alford will claim a spot after signing a 3-year deal with $13.5 million in guarantees. Arizona also added David Amerson and Tramaine Brock at the position.
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert said he's "doing pretty much everything" in offseason workouts. "There's a couple things here and there but for the most part it's all doing everything with the guys," he added. That's about as good as it gets for Eifert nowadays. He's played in just 14 games over the past 3 seasons and had his 2018 campaign ended by a broken ankle. Fantasy owners obviously can't rely on Eifert as a TE1 this coming year -- but he's still capable of producing when healthy. He caught 15 balls for 179 yards and a score in his 4 games last season and is still just 28. Eifert is a fine shot to take late in best-ball drafts, ideally as your 3rd TE.
Colts LB Darius Leonard had surgery at some point this offseason on the left ankle he injured in 2018, GM Chris Ballard announced Tuesday. Leonard played through the issue for much of the year. He's expected to be out 6 weeks, a timeline that would still put him on track for the start of training camp. We'll keep an eye on him through the summer. Leonard, of course, started his career by dominating LB scoring and looks like the top IDP in 2019 drafts if the ankle's good.
Colts GM Chris Ballard revealed Tuesday that TE Eric Ebron recently had groin surgery, according to multiple reports. The team has yet to specify how long Ebron will be out, but it doesn't seem serious. We'll see whether he's ready for the start of training camp, which is when Jack Doyle's expected to return from his hip issue. Ebron's been overvalued in early drafting after last season's huge TD rate, so it'll also be interesting to see whether this news affects his ADP.
Update: GM Chris Ballard said Ebron's surgery happened in April.
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