Tight end Antonio Gates is heading back to the Los Angeles Chargers for a sixteenth season. With Hunter Henry our with a torn ACL for the season what should we expect for Gates? Don’t expect him to be a Top 5 or even a Top 10 tight end, but do look for him to be a late round, serviceable and bye week stream. Antonio Gates is back!
Jerick McKinnon has torn his ACL and is down for the season. Next up in the backfield for the 49ers would be Alfred Morris and Matt Breida. Jerick McKinnon was Top 15 just about everywhere. Tragic situation for the athletic youngster and the 49ers.
The Raiders have reportedly agreed to a deal with the Chicago Bears that will send star defensive end Khalil Mack to the Windy City. We don’t yet know all of the details as they are finalizing all of that. We know Oakland wanted two first round picks out of the deal so I’m assuming it will be something of that nature. Crazy move right before the season!
Will update details as they are known.
The Los Angeles Rams and Aaron Donald have just agreed to terms on a record setting 6-year, $135 million with $87 million guaranteed. Biggest defensive deal in NFL history. I guess good things do come to those who wait. If you’ve drafted him in your IDP leagues good for you. Aaron Donald is going to be a monster this season right next to Ndamukong Suh so get ready to watch that sack count go up!
Alshon Jeffery will be missing the first two games of the regular season. Personally, I was hoping for that second year connection between Wentz and Alshon. Looks like we will have to wait a bit longer to see if that happens. Jeffery should fall in drafts due to this news as well and could be a buy low target for trade purposes.
Andrew Luck is dealing with a minor foot injury sustained in this past Saturday’s preseason game against the 49ers. Luck had looked good on the ground and through the air. Hate to see another injury for Luck but this looks to be nothing and an easy recovery for him.
Josh Gordon has returned to the Cleveland Browns from his somewhat short leave from the team. I think we are all excited for what Gordon can do on the field and a little scared of what he can do off the field. Let’s hope all is well and him and Tyrod Taylor can find that connection we are all hoping for!
Jameis Winston is being suspended for the first three games of the regular season following a disorderly conduct charge that’s been looming for awhile. Who does this affect? Well Winston for one. He will slide down draft boards and make him a bargain later in drafts. This also affects Mike Evans, breakout candidate Chris Godwin and the two tight ends on this team. Could this mean an uptick in what we see for the rookie Ronald Jones? Only time will tell. Your thoughts??
D: Is there a top 24 WR on the Cowboys heading into the season?
J: If there is, it’s Michael Gallup or Allen Hurns. Dak Prescott could not seem to find that Romo to Dez connection that lasted for so many years. Dak will be looking to form a new relationship with one of those wideouts to give one or both of them that WR2 status.
J: Can Alshon Jeffery break into the Top 10 year with a fully healthy Carson Wentz this season?
D: Absolutely! Alshon has all of the necessary tools to be a No. 1 fantasy receiver this year. Carson Wentz has shown his ability to get Alshon the ball. He now has a full year of chemistry built up with him.
D: What is going on with the RB situation here?
J: Do we really even know? I believe Chris Thompson will get his RB2 status back and that Rob Kelley takes the bulk of the snaps starting out until the injury bug bites. Derrius Guice will come in to assume the RB1 role and Samaje Perine will see the bench so he doesn’t have to worry about fumbling the football.
New York Giants
J: Can Eli Manning sustain all of the fantasy weapons on this team?
D: Absolutely not! Not only is Eli Manning a below average starting quarterback, but with the addition of Barkley this year and Engram last year I expect the sheer passing volume and three wideout sets to drop by a significant margin.
D: Is it Thielen, Diggs, or both?
J: Oh, it’s Thielen and Diggs baby!! Kirk Cousins is too good of a quarterback to not make both of these guys fantasy relevant. I believe they will both be Top 24, but Adam Thielen will finish higher and with more consistency.
Green Bay Packers
J: Could we finally get another Top 5 tight end out of Aaron Rodgers?
D: I am so excited about the Rodgers-Graham connection this season. What does Aaron Rodgers do? Throw touchdowns! What does Jimmy Graham do? Catch touchdowns! ‘Nuff said!
D: Will Cohen keep Howard from being a RB1 in fantasy?
J: I don’t think so at all. I think that Cohen will be to the Bears what Chris Thompson is to the Redskins with slightly less downside. Jordan Howard will have bigger gaps to run through with more receiving weapons for Trubisky. Howard will be an RB1 at the end of the season.
J: Out of all the running backs here, who will shake out as RB1?
D: None. I expect to see a continual rotation of running backs throughout the season, all used in different utilities.
New Orleans Saints
D: Can this offense sustain 2 top 15 RBs the same way it did last year?
J: I will say yes on this one. If you would’ve said Top 10 my answer would be different. I still believe that the Saints stick to the run game and also let Brees be a game manager. I believe that Kamara takes on even more of a role and that Ingram trends down a bit, but will remain in the Top 15 because of his touchdown numbers.
J: Could D.J. Moore have a breakout Top 15 type of season?
D: I don’t know about Top 15. What I do expect is at least a WR2 season, because, let’s be honest, Devin Funchess is not a No. 1 receiver.
D: Can Julio reclaim decent touchdown numbers and reclaim his position as a top 5 WR?
J: YES! Julio Jones will have more than three touchdowns next year and that whole offense will have revived itself somewhat. With the addition of Calvin Ridley opposite Julio this season it should take some of that pressure off of him and open up the field a little more for Julio Jones to get back in there and do his thing.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
J: Can Mike Evans return to what he was two years ago?
D: The question is not can he; the question is will he. Mike Evans is extremely talented but if the defense is not able to get him the ball back he will never have the volume to return to what he was two years ago. Also, it wouldn’t hurt if Jamies Winston could gain a little accuracy and Mike Evans could stop dropping passes.
Los Angeles Rams
D: Is Gurley going to repeat the fantastic ’17 season?
J: Yes, Gurley will repeat the amazing year he had and maybe even have a better one. That defense has improved even more and they haven’t lost much. Look for Gurley to definitely be Top 5 again this year.
J: How do you feel about Rashaad Penny and HC Pete Carroll’s comments regarding him?
D: I feel like there are a lot of running backs in Seattle. I think Penny is talented, but so is Procise. It would not surprise me at all if they put Penny in on 1st and 2nd down and put Procise in on 3rd downs. This being said, I could see Penny finishing the year as a possible RB2.
San Francisco 49ers
D: Is Jimmy G going to be able to have top 15 QB numbers with a severe lack of weapons around him?
J: Jimmy G proved at the end of last year that he can be a fantasy relevant quarterback without weapons. He will be getting Pierre Garcon back and adding in Jerick McKinnon who catches the ball quite a bit. I don’t see why Jimmy G can’t be Top 10 assuming the weapons he does have stays healthy.
J: What will Larry Fitzgerald be with Sam Bradford in command in what looks to be his last season?
D: Larry is what Larry has always been, an animal. He will undoubtedly finish the season with over 80 receptions and 1000 plus yards. You do the math.
New England Patriots
D: Are there any fantasy relevant RBs in this overcrowded backfield?
J: We trust Bill don’t we? When was the last time the Patriots selected a first round running back? I believe Sony Michel will be the guy here and Rex Burkhead with his new contract will also be relevant.
J: Can Davante Parker finally come into his own this season?
D: No. Despite how talented Parker may or may not be, the lack of a quarterback in Miami will continue to cap his production.
D: Who is going to be the starting QB the majority of the season? Why?
J: I believe both of these guys have something to prove, but Josh Allen and the athletic freak he is will prevail in that Buffalo climate. Watch for McAaron to be right there nipping at his heels though.
New York Jets
J: How many games will we see Sam Darnold in this year and will we see any fantasy relevance out of him?
D: If they were smart, my answer would be zero. But I think we know this is not the case. It would surprise me if Darnold started less than six games. However, in those games I believe we could see a fantasy friendly quarterback.
D: Will Juju be a top 20 guy this year?
J: I think he will. The games Antonio Brown missed last year they went to JuJu and not Martavis Bryant. I believe he is locked and loaded for WR2 status.
J: Will this be a revived fantasy offense with the additions this team has made in the offseason?
D: There is only one way that I could see this become a fantasy relevant offense. Start Lamar Jackson; sit Joe Flacco.
D: Are the Browns going to have a legitimate fantasy friendly offense this year?
J: For sure. They have too many weapons in this offense not to be. Now who will be fantasy relevant? I don’t why this offense can’t come together and make everyone fantasy relevant. They certainly have the tools for it.
J: Will we get fantasy relevance out of any other pass-catcher besides A.J. Green?
D: Even if the offseason additions do manage to fix that abysmal o-line, I still do not think there is a quality starting quarterback on the team. Due to this, I expect A.J. Green to see his usual majority of targets resulting in him being the only fantasy relevant receiver on the team.
D: Will Leonard Fournette be able to sustain top 10 fantasy numbers while facing stacked boxes due to an underwhelming receiving corps?
J: Yes, I believe he will. Fournette is a powerful runner in the way that Adrian Peterson was in his prime. Plus, I think you have enough middle of the road WR’s on this team to open the running lanes for Fournette.
J: How good can Derrick Henry be this year, even with the addition of Dion Lewis?
D: Even though I consider Henry to be a talented running back, the addition of Lewis will cap Henry’s potential to that of a mid to low RB2 for the season.
D: Is Andrew Luck going to be truly back?
J: Honestly, until we hear news of Andrew Luck throwing regulation sized footballs I can’t put a pin in this one. Personally, I believe he will be back. I’ve been hearing good things from GM Chris Ballard and his recovery seems to be going well. Just the fact that he’s been throwing a football makes me feel a lot better.
J: Can Lamar Miller bounce back with the return of Deshaun Watson or will we see D’Onta Foreman take on a much more prominent role?
D: People do not realize how good Lamar Miller was doing while Watson was on the field. While I do expect Foreman to encroach on more of Miller’s playtime than he did last year, I still expect Miller to be a mid range RB2.
D: With the addition of Chubb, will we see Von Miller return to the dominance of his ’15 and ’16 seasons?
J: Having someone on the other side of Von should certainly make it easier for him to get back there. He is still such a dominant presence on the field and with Bradley Chubb taking some of that pressure off, I feel like we will see a lot more of Von Miller putting signal callers on their back.
J:Will Jordy Nelson have any fantasy relevance this year?
D: As much as I love Jordy, I see too many mouths to feed in a receiving core that does not have a great quarterback. Sadly, I do not see Jordy being anything more than a mid range WR3.
Kansas City Chiefs
D: With a young QB in Pat Mahomes, will Kelce and Hill be able to maintain their positions as elite fantasy options?
J: Alex Smith did have the best year of his career stat wise and Hill was Top 5 and Kelce remained the No. 1 tight end. Pat Mahomes I think will keep Hill in the Top 10 and Kelce for sure as a Top 5 option, maybe just not as elite as we saw them be last year.
Los Angeles Chargers
J: Can Keenan Allen do better than his Top 5 finish from last year?
D: I firmly believe that Allen will retain his status as a top 5 fantasy receiver. However, that Top 3 WR group may be too elite of a club for Keenan to make his way in. It may be possible, but I find it unlikely.
Julian Edelman is facing a four game suspension for violating the NFL’s PED policy. Edelman was slowly becoming one of my favorite bargains in drafts this offseason. He should be even more of a steal and fall later in drafts with the four-game suspension looming. If you play in PPR be on the lookout for Julian Edelman, while in the meantime guys like Chris Hogan and Jordan Matthews take a little bump up.