The Patriots picked up Michigan EDGE Josh Uche in Round 2 of the NFL Draft. Uche posted limited production in college, with 7 and 7.5 sacks in his final 2 seasons and 18.5 total tackles for loss over that span. But his impressive tape left many evaluators wondering why the Wolverines didn't get him on the field more. Uche shows nice play strength for a guy who measured in at just 6'1 and 245 pounds at the Combine. That profile likely means he'll settle for a LB designation in fantasy, which would ding Uche's IDP upside. He's at least in the right place for getting deployed properly.
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.
Patriots LB Jamie Collins (shoulder) is active for today's game against the Bills. He entered questionable but is OK to use in IDP lineups if you planned to. We have Collins as merely a low-LB3 option.
Patriots S Patrick Chung (heel) is active for tonight's game against the Ravens.
Patriots S Patrick Chung (heel, chest) is inactive for tonight's game against the Jets. He entered the night questionable.
Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower is active for today's game against Washington. He missed last week with a shoulder injury and entered this week questionable. We'll see whether Hightower's return cuts into the playing time of Kyle Van Noy or Jamie Collins, each of whom played 100% last week. We're not adjusting our IDP outlooks for either player, though.
Patriots DL Michael Bennett is active for today's game against the Bills. He entered the day questionable with a shoulder injury and saw his snaps dip last week. LB Dont'a Hightower is inactive with his own shoulder injury. Neither should have factored into your IDP plans much, and Hightower's absence doesn't change the outlook for the New England team defense.
Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy is a surprise inactive for tonight's game against the Steelers. Van Noy didn't show up on the injury report at all this week and had been working with the starters. We'll see what's up with this situation and how the LB playing time breaks down for the Pats against Pittsburgh.
Update: It appears Van Noy is missing the game because his wife is giving birth.
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.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that former Patriots DE Trey Flowers will be signing with the Lions when free agency opens Wednesday. Flowers tallied 7, 6.5 and 7.5 sacks over the past 3 seasons but carries further upside in the form of hidden pressures. Pro Football Focus graded Flowers 8th among all 4-3 DEs and counted the 11th most pressures for the position in 2018. Flowers rated in a similar range each of the previous 2 seasons as well. In Detroit, he'll rejoin former New England DC Matt Patricia (now the Lions HC). Expect to find Flowers in DL2 territory in our 2019 IDP projections.
The Patriots have reached a deal to acquire DL MIchael Bennett from the Eagles for a mere swap of picks in the upcoming NFL Draft. Philly gets a 2020 fifth-rounder in exchange for a 2020 pick in Round 7. New England gets a veteran D-lineman capable of playing on the edge or inside. Bennett played the large majority of his snaps in edge spots for the Eagles last year. Pro Football Focus credited him with 68 total pressures, tied for 5th most among edge players. And that came with Bennett turning 33 in November. He has played all 16 games the past 2 years and 6 of the past 7 years. Bennett hasn't posted big sack numbers -- reaching 10 just once and never exceeding that total. But he's a real-life asset and capable of DL2 production. He'll help a New England front 7 that might yet lose DE Trey Flowers to free agency.
Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower (knee) is inactive for tonight’s game against the Bills. Hightower should not have been in IDP plans anyway.
Patriots S Patrick Chung and DE Trey Flowers (concussions) are both active for today's game against the Dolphins. Both make sense as IDP options depending on league size and your other available options.
Patriots S Patrick Chung and DE Trey Flowers are questionable for Sunday's game against the Dolphins. Each guy missed Week 3 with a concussion. They put in limited practices this week, and Flowers told reporters Wednesday he expected to be ready to play Sunday. We'll see about the status of each starter on Sunday.
The Patriots on Saturday ruled DE Trey Flowers and S Patrick Chung out for Sunday night's game at Detroit. Each is dealing with a concussion. We'll see about their progress heading into Week 4.
Patriots S Patrick Chung left Sunday's loss to the Jaguars with a concussion. He and DE Trey Flowers must pass through the league protocol before returning to play. We'll watch the status of each guy heading toward Sunday night's visit to Detroit.
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