Patriots RB Sony Michel had arthroscopic knee surgery this offseason, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic. Michel had been missing workouts without explanation. It's not yet clear which knee had the operation, but his left has been the problem since he tore the ACL on that side in high school in 2011. Michel also had a "minor" procedure on the knee last August that cost him the preseason and the regular-season opener. And he later missed 2 more games with an issue in the same knee. Howe reports that this latest surgery is also "minor" and that Michel's expected to return for training camp. But it looks worrisome from here that Michel is averaging a knee surgery a year so far. We've already been low on the 2nd-year Patriots RB, who might be in for a move further down the rankings given positive reports on rookie Damien Harris and Rex Burkhead so far.
Jaguars WRs coach Keenan McCardell conceded that WR Marquise Lee (knee) is unlikely to be ready for the start of training camp. “He’s probably a couple weeks into training camp before he’ll be back," McCardell said. Lee suffered ligament damage in his left knee last August. We never learned the exact extent of the injury, but it looks like it was more than just an ACL considering he'll need over a year to get fully cleared. Jacksonville's WR corps is wide open at this point, with Lee, Dede Westbrook, D.J. Chark, Keelan Cole and Chris Conley battling for playing time. But until we see him back and on the field and looking healthy, Lee isn't worth drafting.
Panthers QB Cam Newton has resumed throwing, according to The Charlotte Observer's Jourdan Rodrigue. Newton has been cautious in his return from January 24th shoulder surgery, but all signs point to him being ready to go well before the start of the 2019 campaign. A healthy Newton is a good bet to return value at his current 9th-round ADP.
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.
The Patriots grabbed Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham in the 4th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Stidham started his college career at Baylor, completing 75 of 109 passes (68.8%) for 1,265 yards, 12 TDs and 2 INTs in spot duty. He then transferred to Auburn, where he started the past 2 seasons. Stidham turned in an impressive 2017, completing 66.5% of his passes and averaging 8.5 yards per attempt. But his numbers sunk across the board this past year: 60.7% completion rate and 7.6 yards per attempt. Stidham will be the latest to attempt to become Tom Brady’s successor in New England.
The Patriots added Alabama RB Damien Harris in the 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The #1 RB in the 2015 recruiting class led talented ‘Bama backfields in rushing in each of the past 3 seasons: 1,037 yards in 2016, 1,000 in 2017 and 876 this past year. He leaves school with a strong 6.4 yards per carry (half a yard better than Josh Jacobs) and also totaled 52 catches across his 4 years on campus. Harris isn’t a flashy back, but he packs a punch at 5’10, 216 pounds and registered a solid 46th percentile SPARQ score at the Combine. The pick feels a bit redundant for the Patriots, who have Sony Michel coming off an impressive season as lead ball-carrier. But Michel has a long injury history, including a knee injury last August that cost him the season’s first 3 games.
The Patriots spent a 3rd-round pick in the NFL Draft on edge player Chase Winovich from Michigan. Winovich outproduced 1st-round teammate Rashan Gary, including 34.5 tackles for loss over the past 2 years. He then blew up the Combine with the class' 6th-best speed score, the 3rd-best 3-cone time and the top short-shuttle time. He also ranked 4th in the class among EDGE players in Pro Football Focus' pass-rush win percentage and 2nd in run-stop percentage. We'll see whether Winovich settles in as a DE or LB for New England, but there's clearly IDP upside either way.
The Patriots selected Arizona State WR N’Keal Harry with the 32nd pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. The #1 WR in the 2016 recruiting class led the Sun Devils in catches and receiving TDs as a true freshman. Then he busted out for 82 grabs, 1,142 yards and 8 scores as a sophomore. The catches and yards both ranked top 14 in the country. Harry posted a 73-1,088-9 line this past season, accounting for 32.0% of Arizona State’s receptions, 37.6% of the receiving yards and 47.4% of the receiving TDs. Those market shares rank 4th, 6th and 5th among the 48 WRs invited to this year’s Combine. The 6’3, 225-pounder ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash with a 38.5-inch vertical in Indianapolis to earn a 75th percentile SPARQ score. The tape shows a guy who’s dominant in contested situations and dangerous after the catch. Harry was the #1 player in our Pre-Draft Dynasty Rookie Rankings and will very likely stay there in the post-draft list. He has a clear path to 2019 fantasy value in a WR corps consisting of Julian Edelman, Demaryius Thomas and Phillip Dorsett.
The Cardinals have signed WR Damiere Byrd to a 1-year deal. The 5'9, 180-pounder caught just 12 balls across 3 seasons with the Panthers, making his biggest splash in the 2017 preseason opener. We'll see if Byrd can carve out a worthwhile role in a fairly open Arizona WR corps, but he's not likely to factor into the average fantasy football league's draft picture in 2019.
A video on the new YouTube channel of Panthers QB Cam Newton brought encouraging details on his January shoulder surgery. Newton had arthroscopic "irrigation" and "debridement" on his right (throwing) shoulder, and the cartilage damage was apparently fairly minor. “That cartilage damage was not as extensive as we had feared. It was definitely there. We knew that,” team doctor Pat Connor said. “It was pretty small. So if we get that (range of) motion back and keep it, I think we’ll be pretty good.” The Athletic's Joseph Person also talked with longtime Chargers team doctor David Chao, who said the same thing about restoring range of motion. That will be a key thing to watch for in reports through the spring and summer. Don't overrate the shoulder issue and sell off Newton cheaply in dynasty this offseason. As for his redraft -- and general 2019 -- outlook, we'll see how the rehab goes.
Panthers HC Ron Rivera said Thursday that QB Cam Newton is already showing "marked improvement" from his January 24th shoulder surgery. Rivera said the procedure was as "minimally invasive as possible" and was designed to clean out scar tissue that was affecting Newton's range of motion. "I was there on one of his recovery days when (Newton) was working out with (head athletic trainer) Ryan Vermillion," Rivera added. "And one of the things he did say was that he has gotten a lot of range of motion back. So that was exciting to hear." The Panthers expect Newton to be a full-go by the time training camp rolls around.
Panthers QB Cam Newton underwent surgery on his right shoulder on Thursday. It's his 2nd procedure on the throwing shoulder, following a March 2017 operation to repair a partially torn rotator cuff. The latest was an arthroscopic surgery that insider Jourdan Rodrigue hears was a cleanup. Newton's rehab is expected to run into spring, but the team is "hopeful" he'll be a full-go for training camp, according to Rodrigue. We'll keep an eye on him this offseason.
Panthers owner David Tepper admitted Tuesday that he has "no idea" if QB Cam Newton will need surgery on his throwing shoulder. “We all want the same thing: To do everything possible to make it better by next year,” Tepper added. “And hopefully he gets better." ESPN's Adam Schefter caused a stir when he suggested Newton could sit out the 2019 season, but the Charlotte media didn't come away from Tepper's press conference with that feeling. Still, another surgery -- Newton had a a procedure on this throwing shoulder prior to the 2017 campaign -- would muddy his status going forward.
Broncos TE Matt LaCosse (ankle) isn’t listed on the final Week 17 injury report. He’ll return for Sunday’s game against the Chargers but is a weak fantasy play.
Broncos TE Matt LaCosse (ankle) is inactive for tonight's game against the Raiders. He opened the week on the sideline but returned for a pair of limited practices. That leaves the Broncos with Brian Parker -- who has seen 7 targets on the year -- as their top available TE.
The Panthers are shutting down QB Cam Newton for the rest of the season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's a smart move by Carolina. Newton's shoulder has obviously become a bigger problem over the past few weeks, and the Panthers are all but eliminated from the playoff picture. We'll see if Newton needs another surgery on that shoulder or if some rest will get him back to 100%. His absence will leave Taylor Heinicke as Carolina's starter for the last 2 weeks. Undrafted out of Old Dominion back in 2015, Heinicke has attempted just 5 regular-season NFL passes. He's not a Week 16 fantasy option and is a downgrade for all of Carolina's skill-position guys. RB Christian McCaffrey is the only reliable fantasy play on the team.
Panthers QB Cam Newton admitted after Monday night's loss to the Saints that his throwing shouldn't is "not getting better." He struggled mightily vs. New Orleans, completing just 16 of 29 passes for 131 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT. None of his attempts traveled more than 20 yards downfield, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. “I wish I could say what the injury is, but I don’t really know what it is, either,” Newton said. “No matter how much you push. No matter how much you ice, anti-inflammatories you take. Trust me, I did it — acupuncture, massages. It’s not been a time when a night went by without me getting some type of work done on my arm. I just don’t have the strength.” It's possible the Panthers shut Newton down with their season all but over. Even if he plays against the Falcons this weekend, he'll be tough to trust in fantasy lineups.
Panthers QB Cam Newton (shoulder) isn't listed on the final Week 14 injury report. He was limited on Wednesday and Thursday but listed as a full participant on Friday. Newton is dealing with some soreness in his throwing shoulder, which adds some risk to his fantasy outlook. But he remains a strong QB1 vs. Cleveland this weekend.
Panthers QB Cam Newton was limited in Wednesday's practice with a throwing-shoulder issue. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport termed it a "sore" shoulder and said it "may be a battle the rest of the season." Rapoport added that he's "received no indication that his playing status is in doubt." Newton, of course, is coming off his worst game of the year -- a 4-INT clunker in Tampa Bay. It's also worth noting that he was pulled for QB Taylor Heinicke for a Hail Mary on the final play of that game. We'll continue to keep an eye on Newton's status. He'll come with a bit more risk in Week 14 fantasy lineups but remains a QB1.
Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (neck) is active for today’s game against the Vikings. He shouldn’t be in fantasy lineups in his 1st action since Week 3, but we’re curious to see how much work he steals from Sony Michel and James White.
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