Lions RB D'Andre Swift was held out of Friday's practice after suffering an upper-leg injury on Thursday, according to the Detroit News' Justin Rogers. It's not believed to be a significant injury, but we'll see how much time Swift misses. The rookie is battling RB Kerryon Johnson for snaps and touches.
Lions TE T.J. Hockenson has been "moving well" in training camp, according to The Athletic's Nick Baumgardner. "Thursday, after a team off day, the former Iowa product looked like the guy many scouts touted as a possible generational tight-end talent ahead of last year’s draft," Baumgardner writes. "Dialed in from the start, Hockenson looked like the type of pass-game weapon the Lions hope he’ll become in just about every scenario." Hockenson made headlines recently when he conceded that he's still not completely over last year's ankle injury. But it sounds like that's more of a mental hurdle than a physical one. He remains an intriguing 2020 breakout candidate.
Lions RB Kerryon Johnson is still wearing a brace on his knee and has been getting "maintenance" days off early in training camp. He missed 8 games last season with a right knee injury that required surgery -- although he did return for the final 2 games. He also missed 6 games as a rookie with a left knee injury. Durability remains a concern here. And if Johnson isn't at 100%, it'll only be tougher to hold off rookie RB D'Andre Swift.
Lions TE T.J. Hockenson saw his rookie season end in November because of a nasty-looking right-ankle injury. Although he's practicing, it doesn't sound like the issue is totally behind him. According to Kyle Meinke of MLive.com: "Hockenson says the ankle has been an issue for him this offseason. He notices it's still not quite 100%, but he's out there running around and trying to push forward." If Hockenson's ankle hasn't rebounded all the way by the start of training camp, it's hard to imagine it getting better as he plays on it from here through the end of the season. That doesn't mean we're betting on Detroit deactivating the 2nd-year TE. It does, however, mean a potential limitation for the young player. At the least, it's a situation worth watching.
The Cowboys have reached a deal with DE Everson Griffen, according to NFL Network. Griffen spent 2010-19 with the Vikings, the last 6 of those as a starter. Injury and off-field issues derailed his 2018. Griffen missed 5 games and finished with just 5.5 sacks. He rebounded in 2019, however, missing only a meaningless Week 17, notching 8 sacks and tallying 24 QB hits. That last number tied for 11th in the league. In Dallas, Griffen immediately looks like the favorite to start at right DE opposite Demarcus Lawrence. He'll likely be available at least into DL3 range in IDP drafts. Griffen presents upside beyond that.
Raiders WR Tyrell Williams said Wednesday that he's “over the hump” from the plantar fasciitis that bothered him for most of last season. He's doing "daily maintenance" to make sure the soreness doesn't return. Williams was clearly hampered by the issue last year. But he averaged 6 targets, 4.3 catches, 54 yards and 1 TD when he was healthy over the first 4 games. Williams faces more target competition this season after Vegas added rookie WRs Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards. But he should still be a full-time player as 1 of the team's top 3 WRs. Williams is an easy value at his WR80 ADP.
Lions TE T.J. Hockenson has been removed from the COVID list. He, QB Matt Stafford and WR Kenny Golladay are all now available. Consider their fantasy stocks unaffected.
The Lions placed TE T.J. Hockenson on the COVID reserve list. He's eligible to come off it as soon as he's cleared by doctors. But any missed time is unideal for a 2nd-year player who spent the offseason rehabbing from a November ankle injury. We'll see when Hockenson is able to get on the field.
The Lions signed undrafted rookie TE Hunter Bryant. We got Jordan Reed vibes watching Bryant — a comparison also drawn by NFL.com's Lance Zierlein. Like Reed, Bryant is undersized at 6’2, 248 pounds and is basically a WR playing TE. Of course, that can be a good thing for fantasy football. Bryant flashed as a true freshman at Washington back in 2017 before tearing the ACL and MCL in 1 of his knees. He tore his meniscus the following spring and played in only 5 games in 2018. Bryant broke out this past year, racking up 52 catches for 825 yards and 3 scores. He averaged a big 15.9 yards per catch, and his 2.71 yards per route run ranked 3rd among 18 of this year’s top WR prospects. We’re guessing Bryant’s medicals played a big part of him going undrafted. He looks like a fantasy long shot but is at least worth monitoring going forward.
The Lions selected Wisconsin WR Quintez Cephus in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Cephus trudged to a 4.73-second 40 time at the Combine, although he did post above-average marks in the vertical and broad jumps at 6’1 and 202 pounds. He’s obviously not going to win with athleticism as a pro, but Cephus does a lot of little things well. He can beat press coverage, is an advanced route runner and is strong in contested situations. Cephus missed the entire 2018 season after being accused of sexual assault. He was later acquitted of those charges and returned to Wisconsin to post a 59-901-7 line this past year. Cephus tallied nice market shares, and his 3.1 yards per route run ranked 5th among 30 of this year’s top WR prospects. He figures to battle with Geronimo Allison for the #4 WR job in Detroit this season behind Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola. But all 4 of those guys are currently scheduled to hit free agency next offseason.
The Lions chose DE Julian Okwara in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. The little brother of Lions DE Romeo Okwara enjoyed a breakout 2018 campaign that included 12.5 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. Pro Football Focus credited him with the 6th-most pressures (61) in the nation that season. Okwara's prediction fell back a bit in 2019, which ended early with a broken fibula against Duke in November. Landing with the Lions and their 4-3 base defense should mean a DE/DL designation for Okwara in fantasy. We're not chasing hard after him in dynasty rookie drafts, though.
The Lions selected Georgia RB D’Andre Swift with the 35th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. Swift earned playing time as a true freshman in 2017 in a backfield that included NFLers Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, averaging a big 7.6 yards per carry on 81 attempts and actually leading the backfield with 17 catches. He took over as Georgia’s lead back the past 2 seasons, totaling 2,267 yards and 17 TDs on 6.3 yards per carry. He also posted receiving lines of 32-297-3 and 24-216-1. Swift is on the smaller side at 5’8 and 212 pounds, never reached 200 carries in a college season and dealt with leg, foot and shoulder injuries at Georgia. So he doesn’t project as a workhorse ball-carrier in the NFL. But Swift looks like a lead back with ready-made ability in the passing game. We’ve heard multiple scouts compare him to Dalvin Cook. In Detroit, Swift will duke it out with Kerryon Johnson for 2020 snaps. Considering the draft capital invested in Swift here, we’d consider him the favorite to lead the backfield in touches.
The Lions took Ohio State CB Jeffrey Okudah 3rd in the 2020 NFL Draft, making him the 1st DB off the board. Okudah spent 2 seasons starting for the Buckeyes, breaking up 17 passes with 3 INTs over that span. He also averaged just 2 solo tackles per game, though. Okudah figures to start opposite Desmond Trufant right away, but we’re not getting fired up for his IDP outlook.
The Lions have reached a 1-year deal with former Packers WR Geronimo Allison. ESPN reports that it's for just the league minimum, a fraction of the $2.8 million Allison commanded in the 1-year pact he signed with Green Bay last offseason. Despite playing all 16 games last season, Allison ranked just 6th among Packers in receptions. Barring injuries to others, Allison's high point in Detroit looks like the #4 role behind Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola.
Former Buccaneers WR Breshad Perriman has agreed to a 1-year deal with the Jets, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus. Perriman will make just $6 million, with incentives that could push it to $8 million -- somewhat limited money for a 26-year-old wideout who finished last season strong. On top of his big numbers as Tampa Bay's top receivers went down, Pro Football Focus' grades say Perriman stepped up his play to near top level. PFF also graded Perriman 32nd among all 215 targeted WRs in 2018, his lone season with Cleveland. Perriman now steps into an offense that just let Robby Anderson walk for Carolina. Anderson drew 96 targets in 2019, second most on the team and 18.4% of the team total. Perriman should be competing for at least a similar role. We'll see whether the Jets add anything else in free agency or the NFL Draft.
The Seahawks on Monday traded a 5th-round NFL Draft pick to Washington for CB Quinton Dunbar, ESPN reports. Dunbar is heading into the final season on his contract and lost 14 games to injuries over the past 2 years. He has proved productive when on the field, though, including 17 passes defensed and 6 INTs over his past 18 games. Dunbar should be a starter for Seattle and a draftable DB in 2020 IDP leagues of at least moderate depth.
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.
Packers RB Jamaal Williams (shoulder) put in a full practice on Wednesday. It's confirmation that he's on track to play against the Seahawks on Sunday. Williams will work as Green Bay's #2 RB, but his return definitely puts a dent in RB Aaron Jones' touch projection.
Packers RB Jamaal Williams (shoulder) returned to practice on Thursday. That would seem to put him on track to play in next weekend's Divisional Round game. In their last 5 healthy games together, Williams has tallied 49 carries and 15 targets to Aaron Jones' 66 carries and 14 targets.
Patriots LB Jamie Collins (shoulder) is active for today's game against the Dolphins. He entered questionable for the 2nd week in a row but played through it last week. Collins should be fine for normal IDP use.
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