WR Rashod Bateman signed his four-year, $12.6 million rookie contract with the Ravens on Wednesday. (Source: Jamison Hensley on Twitter )
Fantasy Impact: Bateman’s rookie deal includes a $6.5 million signing bonus. The Ravens selected Bateman with the No.27 pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. He's expected to start alongside Marquise Brown and Sammy Watkins. The Minnesota product can create separation and play all over the field. Bateman gives QB Lamar Jackson a new weapon that could flourish in the Ravens' passing game. Bateman is currently 68th among all wideouts in the latest expert consensus draft rankings.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that FA QB Blake Bortles is signing with the Green Bay Packers. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter )
Fantasy Impact: Bortles spent last season on the Rams as the backup to Jared Goff. The Packers are dealing with a QB dilemma right now with Aaron Rodgers wanting out. The only other QB on the roster is Jordan Love, so this could just be a depth-piece signing. Packers organization are hoping they can mend things with Rodgers, but it's unclear if they can. If Rodgers does get traded, Bortles could become the starter since Love may not be completely ready for NFL action. This is a situation to monitor.
Penei Sewell announced on Twitter that he has tested positive for COVID. (Source: Penei Sewell on Twitter )
Fantasy Impact: Sewell was drafted number seven overall by the Detroit Lions. He is widely regarded as the best OL prospect. Sewell will have to quarantine until he is cleared. He will likely miss mini-camp, but will head to Detroit as soon as he's cleared.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that FA WR Tavon Austin worked out for the Jets. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Austin spent last season on the 49ers and the Packers. He only caught five passes for 20 yards. Even if he signs with the Jets, his fantasy value is pretty much nonexistent.
Wed, May 12th 1:54pm EDT
By Avram Avramov
Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Arizona Cardinals have given LB Jordan Hicks permission to seek a trade after naming rookie Zaven Collins their starting MLB. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Hicks, 28-years old, signed with the Cardinals back in 2019, but now looks to likely be on the way out after the Cardinals drafted LB Zaven Collins with the 16th pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Arizona has committed to Collins as their starting MLB and has given permission to Hicks to seek a trade. Hicks finished with 118 tackles and four passes defended in 2020. In the scenario there is no trade interest for Hicks the Cardinals have not ruled out the option of retaining Hicks as a veteran who can provided depth if needed.
Former Bears OT Charles Leno Jr. has agreed to terms with The Washington Football Team on a 1-yr deal worth up to $5M. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Leno spent the first seven years of his career with the Bears. He's been an iron man for the last five, starting 80 consecutive games. Leno adds to a group that finished in the top-10 in 2020, and Ryan Fitzpatrick and Antonio Gibson stand to benefit most from this transaction.
Tue, May 11th 6:12pm EDT
By Brendan Tuma
Mark Kaboly of The Athletic writes "there's "no reason to think Najee Harris won’t push the 275-touch mark as a rookie." (Source: The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: We knew heading into the draft that Pittsburgh wanted a workhorse running back, and now they have one. Harris' competition is Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland, so it shouldn't be too hard for him to seize a large role right away. The fact that the Steelers have been so forward about their desire to upgrade the running game through Harris is music to the ears of fantasy players. A shaky offensive line is still a concern, but usage trumps all else when it comes to fake football. Harris should presently be valued as a rock-solid RB2 with RB1 upside heading into the summer.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Antwaun Woods has signed a one-year deal with the Colts per his agent Drew Rosenhaus. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter )
Fantasy Impact: Woods started seven games for the Cowboys last season. He totaled one sack and seven solo tackles. He will be a nice addition to the Colts defense if he can stay healthy.
Tue, May 11th 8:24am EDT
By Matthew MacKay
Former New York Jets K Chase McLaughlin has reportedly been claimed off of waivers by the Cleveland Browns, per Field Yates. (Source: Field Yates on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: McLaughlin split time with both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets in 2020, converting four of five field-goal attempts and five of six extra-point attempts, including a successful 52-yard field goal at Lambeau Field. The 25-year old kicker joins Cody Parkey and Matthew McCrane as the third placekicker on the Browns' roster and is expected to compete with the others during training camp to earn the starting job. Parkey was much improved in 2020, converting 19-of-22 field goal attempts but missed an extra point attempt in three of the team's final four regular-season games. All three of Parkey's missed field goal attempts occurred in one-possession games, which indicates the Browns are seeking improvement or preparing for his eventual replacement in 2021.
Mon, May 10th 8:49pm EDT
By Brendan Tuma
Falcons RBs coach Desmond Kitchings said Monday that "the door is wide open" for anyone to take over their backfield. (Source: Tori McElhaney on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: This is obviously a good sign for Mike Davis, who was brought in as a free agent this offseason. Atlanta also didn't draft a running back, so there's an opportunity for Davis to seize feature-back duties this season. He filled in admirably for Christian McCaffrey at times in 2020, and his three-down skill set will give him a leg up over his competition with the Falcons.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Jaguars are planning to sign former QB Tim Tebow to a deal. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Tebow will be converting to TE when the Jaguars officially sign him. Tebow last played in the NFL during the 2012 season. His stint as a QB did not pan out, throwing for 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions while completing 47.9% of his passes in 16 career games as a starter. The Jaguars have one of the worst TE rooms in the NFL and Tebow could easily be atop the depth chart by the time the season rolls around. He gets to reunite with his former college coach, Urban Meyer.
Mon, May 10th 1:56pm EDT
By Brad Camara
Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said QB Jordan Love has a “long way to go in his development.” (Source: Matt Schneidman of the Athletic )
Fantasy Impact: Love, who was drafted by the Packers in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, did not appear in a regular-season contest last year. “He’s got a long way to go,” Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said after the first round of this year’s draft. “But we’re ecstatic for his development. “Obviously, we think the world of Jordan and where he’s going to grow and develop. I think it’s pretty early to be able to tell you that because obviously with no preseason games last year and just kind of the no-spring, but we have a lot of confidence in his talents, in his work ethic, and where he’s going to go. But it’s a little early for that.” Packers future HOF QB Aaron Rodgers is disgruntled with the team and reportedly warned Green Bay he wouldn’t be back in 2021. With the reported lack of development of Love, the QB situation in Green Bay is getting dicey. Love is mainly at dynasty stash unless Rodgers moves on from Green Bay. The Packers offense takes a massive hit in 2021 if Love is forced to take over. Stay tuned.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that LT Eric Fisher and the Colts have agreed on a one-year deal. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Fisher is a huge addition to the already elite offensive line. The deal is worth $9.4M and will now be protecting new Colts QB Carson Wentz. Fisher tore his achilles right before the Super Bowl, but the Colts are comfortable enough with his rehab to sign him. This is a big boost for Wentz and Jonathan Taylor who figures to handle the bulk of the carries in the Colts backfield.
Mon, May 10th 10:09am EDT
By Brendan Tuma
James Palmer of NFL Network reports the Denver Broncos are a "legitimate landing spot" for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. (Source: James Palmer on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Of course, Green Bay continues to insist that Rodgers isn't available for trade. Palmer notes that Denver began coming up with trade scenarios the moment reports started surfacing about Rodgers' displeasure with the Packers. He also mentioned that the Broncos wouldn't hesitate to supplant their young signal-caller Drew Lock, should a trade actually come to fruition. Still, it's a complicated scenario for both teams to sort through, so any potential trade is likely weeks away. Stay tuned.
Sun, May 9th 6:45pm EDT
By Luke Sawhook
Seahawks rookie receiver D'Wayne Eskridge has a wide array of tools that the Seattle front office are in love with, implying a possible large role with multiple positions involved for the second-round pick. (Source: ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: Eskridge is a downfield burner who has a lot of tools in his game that can allow the Seahawks to deploy him in a countless number of ways. Keep an eye on Eskridge in rookie drafts as he could see a large amount of snaps in his debut season.
Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the Philadelphia Eagles have claimed former Lions RB Kerryon Johnson on Friday. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Johnson ends up in Philadelphia after being waived by the Lions on Thursday. He will join a crowded Eagles backfield that includes Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Jordan Howard, and Kenneth Gainwell. The 23-year-old was unproductive in 2020, logging 52 carries for 181 rushing yards (3.5 YPC) along with 19 receptions on 26 targets for 187 receiving yards and three total touchdowns. Johnson was limited to 18 games in his first two seasons with the Lions and will compete for a spot on the Eagles RB depth chart. Kerryon is currently 72nd among all running backs in the latest expert consensus draft rankings.
Fri, May 7th 10:29am EDT
By Matthew MacKay
Former Jacksonville Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook is reportedly receiving interest from several teams after missing the majority of the 2020 season due to a torn ACL. (Source: Jeremy Fowler on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: The slot receiver out of the University of Oklahoma is expected to join a new team entering his fifth year in the league. A torn ACL kept Westbrook sidelined for nearly the entire 2020 season but he did see 101 targets and 66 receptions in back-to-back seasons during 2018 and 2019 with sub-par quarterback play from Blake Bortles and Gardner Minshew. The six-foot, 178-pound slot receiver would be a great fit in multiple systems using his sure-hands and speed to compensate for a lack of size to get behind linebackers and nickel cornerback coverage. Teams like the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions would be ideal landing spots for Westbrook, as he would fill a need as their slot wideout and could return to 100+ targets using his quick feet and reliable hands to provide a safe target across the middle.
Thu, May 6th 7:19pm EDT
By Brad Camara
Free-agent DB Jason McCourty reached an agreement on a one-year deal with the Dolphins Thursday. (Source: Mike Garafolo on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: McCourty agrees to a one-year deal with Miami and reunites with Dolphins’ HC Brian Flores. He racked up 30 solo tackles, 12 assists, and three passes defensed for the Patriots in 2020. McCourty adds a veteran presence to the Dolphins’ secondary and is expected to be behind Xavien Howard and Byron Jones on the cornerback depth chart.
The Lions have signed free agent tight end Darren Fells to a one-year deal. (Source: Dave Birkett on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Detroit was in need of tight end help after Josh Hill retired. Fells will instantly become the team's No. 2 tight end behind T.J. Hockenson. He's a solid blocker with tremendous value in the red zone. Over 16 games (14 starts) in Houston last year, he caught 21 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns. With Detroit's lack of threats at wide receiver, Fells could be a decent deep stash in case Hockenson suffers an injury.
Thu, May 6th 12:17pm EDT
By Andersen Pickard
The Buccaneers have re-signed free agent quarterback Blaine Gabbert. It's a one-year, $2.5 million deal between the Super Bowl champions and their signal-caller. (Source: Jeremy Fowler on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: The Bucs' depth chart behind Tom Brady is quite interesting. Gabbert, who completed nine of 16 passes last season for 143 yards and two touchdowns, joins a room that also includes Ryan Griffin and Kyle Trask. The former has spent six years with the Buccaneers, attempting just four passes. The latter, meanwhile, was drafted by Tampa Bay in April. He was the sixth quarterback off the board and the first taken outside of Round 1.