Patriots WR Cordarrelle Patterson has drawn raves from multiple beat writers early in training camp. Mass Live's Andrew Callahan wrote Thursday that it's been "The Cordarrelle Patterson Show" so far. "He's made contested catches at every level of the field and carried the ball with the first-team offense," Callahan adds. The Patriots' WR corps is wide open behind Chris Hogan and Julian Edelman, who's suspended for the first 4 games of the season. Patterson hasn't clicked as a WR through 5 NFL seasons but still has theoretical upside thanks to his supreme athleticism. We'll be keeping a close eye on him this preseason.
The Raiders on Friday placed DE Khalil Mack on the reserve/did not report list. Mack continues to hold out in search of a new contract after skipping the team's mandatory minicamp. He's on the option year of his rookie contract and currently headed toward unrestricted free agency in the spring. We'll see how this situation plays out.
Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky has been "inconsistent" at the start of training camp, according to the Chicago Tribune's Rich Campbell. "One throw will be late, off target or ill-advised, and the next throw will be perfectly placed and on time," Campbell writes. We're just a few days into what's been a rainy training camp for the Bears, so it's far too early to even think about worrying. But it's a good time to remember that Trubisky is a 2nd-year QB in a brand new offense with a bunch of new weapons. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him get off to a relatively slow start this season.
Bears HC Matt Nagy expects WR Allen Robinson (knee) to avoid the active/PUP list to begin training camp. Robinson was limited this spring but should be something close to a full-go now after last September's torn ACL. It's important for him to get reps in camp and preseason action in a new offense with a new QB. Robinson has every opportunity to emerge as the top dog in a much-improved Bears passing game. He's fairly valued at his WR18 ADP.
The Bears have rookie WR Anthony Miller "earmarked" to run from the slot this season, according to ESPN's Jeff Dickerson. That points to an immediate role for the 2nd-round rookie, but it also intimates WR Taylor Gabriel and WR Kevin White will compete for the starting outside spot opposite Allen Robinson. An intriguing Bears offense under new HC Matt Nagy and first-time OC Mark Helfrich makes all 3 wideouts worth considering near the end of best-ball drafts. We'll be watching to see how the fight for roles plays out.
The Bears selected Memphis WR Anthony Miller with the 51st overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Few WRs were more productive over the past 2 seasons. Miller racked up 95 catches for 1,434 yards and 14 TDs in 2016, finishing top 10 in the country in all 3 categories. Then he set new career highs across the board last year with 96 catches, 1,462 yards and a nation-high 18 TDs. And he was efficient, ranking 4th among all draft-eligible WRs in Pro Football Focus’ yards per route run. Miller wasn’t able to test at the Combine but earned an 87th percentile SPARQ score at his Pro Day. So you’re probably asking, “why wasn’t this dude a 1st-round pick?” Well, he’s smallish at 5’11 and 201 pounds. He’s already 23 years old. And he suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot in his final college game — an injury that has a tendency to cause long-term problems. That said, a healthy Miller looks capable of winning at all areas of the field and as an outside or slot receiver. He’s a long shot to assume #1 duties in Chicago with Allen Robinson in town. But Miller only needs to beat out Kevin White and Taylor Gabriel for the #2 role in an ascending offense. This is a nice landing spot.
The Bears grabbed Georgia LB Roquan Smith with the 8th overall pick in the NFL Draft. Smith should start right away inside the Bears' 3-4 defense and easily slide into a 3-down role. We'll see what that means for oft-injured LB Danny Trevathan. Smith should quickly become a big IDP factor with his blend of athleticism and play recognition.
New Bears HC Matt Nagy likes what he's seen from RB Tarik Cohen both on film and early in the offseason program. “He’s a run threat and then he can catch the ball in space in broken formations," Nagy said. “That’s an advantage for the play callers and the play designers to be able to do some different things. We can move him around and try to get an advantage. … He’s dynamic." Cohen is coming off a promising rookie season that saw him average 4.3 yards per carry on 87 attempts and tally 53 catches. Nagy said recently that Jordan Howard will remain the team's lead back, but there's certainly room for Cohen to tack on another 20 or 30 touches to last year's total. He's fairly valued at his current 7th-round ADP.
The Patriots on Sunday traded a 5th-round pick to the Raiders for WR Cordarrelle Patterson and a 6th-rounder. This looks like a special-teams move. New England already retained WR Kenny Britt as part of a crowded WR corps, and Patterson has achieved little as a wideout with the Vikings and Raiders. Don't expect him to become a fantasy factor in 2018.
TE Jimmy Graham has agree to a deal with the Packers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Despite a sluggish final quarter of the season, Graham rebounded for 10 TDs and top-7 finishes across fantasy football formats last year. Green Bay certainly won't hurt his TD potential. Volume could be on his side, too, after Jordy Nelson's 2017 decline and a tough couple of years for Randall Cobb. Of course, Graham's ADP will also likely be top 5 among TEs now that he's teaming up with Aaron Rodgers. We'll see exactly where he lands on that front and in our 2018 projections. This looks like a good opportunity to look into selling the 31-year-old Graham in dynasty leagues.
WR Allen Robinson intends to sign with the Bears when free agency officially kicks off on Wednesday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Robinson is 1 of the top free-agent WRs and fills a massive void in Chicago, where Kendall Wright, Jeremy Bellamy and Dontrelle Inman led the WRs in targets last year. A-Rob is recovering from last September's torn ACL but should be ready well ahead of the 2018 opener. He exploded for an 80-1,400-14 line in his 2nd season in Jacksonville, becoming just the 4th player in NFL history to post 1,400+ yards at age-22 or younger (joining Randy Moss, Larry Fitzgerald and Josh Gordon). Robinson's numbers declined in 2016, but his 73 catches, 883 yards and 6 TDs all led a bad Jaguars passing game. We'll see what else Chicago adds this offseason, but Robinson should be a heavy favorite to lead the 2018 squad in targets. His arrival is a big boost to QB Mitchell Trubisky's fantasy outlook.
Update: Robinson's deal is for $42 million over 3 years, with about $25 million guaranteed -- a bit less than Sammy Watkins got from the Chiefs.
The Bears have named Mark Helfrich their new OC, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Helfrich spent 4 seasons as Chip Kelly's OC at Oregon before serving as the Ducks' HC from 2013-2016. While HC Matt Nagy will call plays for the Bears, Helfrich should bring some tempo and creativity to the offense. We like the coaching staff Chicago is putting together for QB Mitchell Trubisky.
The Bears have named Matt Nagy their new HC. Nagy won't turn 40 until April 24, but he has spent the past 10 years coaching under Andy Reid, dating back to their time in Philadelphia. Nagy spent 4 years as the QBs coach in Kansas City before taking over as OC in 2017. After 4 straight years of finishing 20th or lower in yards, the Chiefs leaped to 5th in the league this season. They also matched their 6th-place scoring finish from 2013, the best mark since Reid arrived. Nagy inherits a young Bears offense with a QB drafted 3rd overall last April, a young pair of RBs and WRs Cameron Meredith and Kevin White coming off injuries. There's upside here for fantasy football drafters. We'll watch for Nagy to fill out his staff and offer any clues about his plans for the Chicago offense.
The Bears have fired HC John Fox. He went 14-34 in 3 seasons in Chicago, finishing last in the NFC North all 3 years. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Bears are looking for an offensive mind to replace Fox and work with QB Mitchell Trubisky.
ESPN's Adam Caplan expects Eagles QB Nick Foles to play 3-4 series in today's game against the Cowboys. QB Nate Sudfeld will take over the rest of the way. Philly's top skill-position guys also figure to be pulled early today. It's a situation to avoid in Week 17 fantasy lineups.
Eagles HC Doug Pederson said Friday that his starters will play against the Cowboys on Sunday -- but indicated that they won't play the entire game. "I want all the starters to play," Pederson said. "... I want to make sure that they stay in the moment, but at the same time be smart with how much they play, how long they play, and go from there." It's unclear exactly how much Philly's skill-position guys will play, but anything less than a full game makes them hands-off in Week 17 fantasy lineups.
Saints WR Ted Ginn (ribs) isn’t listed on the final Week 16 injury report. He’ll return for Sunday’s game against Atlanta but isn’t a great fantasy option. The Falcons have allowed a league-low 2 pass plays of 40+ yards this season.
Saints WR Ted Ginn (ribs) is inactive for today’s game against the Jets. NFL Network’s Jane Slater mentioned WRs Willie Snead and Tommylee Lewis as guys who will pick up Ginn’s slack. But neither can be trusted in fantasy lineups in a game in which New Orleans shouldn’t need to throw a whole lot.
Saints WR Ted Ginn (ribs) will not play against the Jets today, according to NFL Network’s Jane Slater. He put in limited practices on Thursday and Friday, but the Saints probably know that they can win this one without him. Slater mentions WRs Willie Snead and Tommy Lee Lewis as guys who will pick up Ginn’s slack. But neither can be trusted in fantasy lineups in a game in which New Orleans shouldn’t need to throw a whole lot.
Saints WR Ted Ginn (ribs) is questionable for this weekend’s game against the Jets. He put in limited practices on Thursday and Friday and expects to play. We’ll find out for sure by noon ET on Sunday. He’ll be a boom-or-bust WR3 if active
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