The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed wide receiver Dede Westbrook to a four-year deal on Tuesday. (Source: Ryan O'Halloran on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Westbrook, a fourth-round pick, signed his rookie deal Tuesday. He'll likely battle for a roster spot for the remainder of the offseason. Currently, he's stuck behind Alen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee, Rashad Greene and Bryan Walters on the team's wide receiver depth chart. Aside from in Dynasty league formats, Westbrook has little fantasy value entering the 2017 season.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer told the media that he has "no idea" if 2017 will be his final season in the NFL. (Source: Kyle Odegard on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Palmer, 37, had seriously considered retiring this offseason. However, he ultimately elected to return along with teammate Larry Fitzgerald. Although his production regressed from 2015, Palmer still had a solid statistical year last season. In 15 games, he threw for 4,233 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions including six games of passing for at least 300 yards, plus, a 61 percent completion percentage. From a fantasy football perspective, Palmer is still a reliable signal caller, even if he's not a clear-cut QB1. He has a plethora of high-end weapons surrounding him that are playmakers that include, Fitzgerald, David Johnson, John Brown and J.J. Nelson. Palmer should be considered a borderline QB1/ QB2 for 2017 whose upside is sky high if his health and the health of his arsenal remains intact.
By Anthony Cervino Tue, May 16th 4:06pm EDT
During an episode of Pro Football Talk Live Tuesday, former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Willie Colon said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was "seriously considering retiring before ultimately deciding to play" in 2017. “I got to sit down and talk to him and one thing he told me is he did take it seriously,” Colon said via PFT Live. “He’s dealt with a lot of injuries.” (Source: Pro Football Talk)
Fantasy Impact: It appears that Roethlisberger's retirement talk this offseason was more serious than what was originally conceived. However, because the 35-year-old signal caller ultimately decided to return for the 2017 season, all is well in Pittsburgh, but for how long? Roethlisberger, who has battled injuries throughout his career and takes a beating on the field due to his style of play, isn't getting any younger. Perhaps his time in the NFL is coming to an end sooner rather than later. It could be time for the Steelers to begin planning for a life without Roethlisberger. Granted, they selected Josh Dobbs in the fourth round of April's draft, but is he the future? The answer to that question will not come in the preseason. It will be answered in the regular season if Roethlisberger, who has missed six games since 2015, is sidelined at any point during the campaign, and Dobbs is given the shot to play over Landry Jones.
Chicago Bears head coach John Fox told the media rookie running back Tarik Cohen's versatility makes him uniquely suited for a third-down role on offense" this season. "Well, he's a joker back," Fox said via ESPN. "I think third down, it's just another matchup, this game's about matchups. We weren't nearly as successful as we needed to be on third down a year ago, so people call it a joker back. It's got a lot of different names, but you see similar roles around the league that we really haven't had." (Source: ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: Cohen, often referred to as the "human joystick," could be employed as Chicago's third down back in 2017. The Sproles-esqe rusher will likely be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses at the pro level, especially as a receiver out of the backfield. Although Jordan Howard, Jeremy Langford and Benny Cunningham are currently slated ahead of him on the Bears' depth chart, Cohen should still garner fantasy value this season. Target him in the latter portion of fantasy drafts as a deep sleeper flex option.
When Brandon Graham was absent from the Eagles' voluntary workouts last week, rumors started flying that he was upset with his current contract situation. On Tuesday, Graham returned back to the Eagles facility and denied all rumors of a possible contract dispute. (Source: Pro Football Talk)
Fantasy Impact: Graham is coming off one of his best seasons in his career. Although he was criticized for only having 5.5 sacks, Graham finished with the second-most pressures and third-most knockdowns last season. With some big offseason additions on the D-line, there is less pressure on Graham, making him even more of a threat for quarterbacks. If he completes his rushes this season, his sack numbers could be huge.
By Anthony Cervino Mon, May 15th 4:52pm EDT
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told the media free agent quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III are "among the backup quarterback options that the Seahawks are exploring." (Source: ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: In the wake of Trevone Boykin's off the field issues that could cost him his job as Russell Wilson's backup, the Seahawks are considering signing either Kaepernick or Griffin, among others. Once viewed quality, up and coming NFL starters, both Kaepernick and Griffin have garnered little to no interest on the open market this offseason. However, expect at least one of them, likely Kaepernick, to land a job for the upcoming season.
ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting Seattle Seahawks running back Eddie Lacy weighed in at 253 pounds Monday, two below the 255-pound limit the team set for him at this point in the offseason. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: As a result of Lacy making weight, he earned a $55,000 bonus. The 26-year-old big bodied rusher has struggled with weight since entering the league in 2013 as a member of the Packers and is likely one of the reasons why Green Bay didn't push harder to re-sign him despite their running back woes. Currently, Lacy is slated as Seattle's RB1 for 2017 with Thomas Rawls as his handcuff. However, if Lacy's weight continues to fluctuate or if he struggles to run the ball early in the season, it wouldn't be a shock to see Rawls atop the depth chart sooner rather than later. C.J. Prosise will also be in the mix for touches this year, making the Seahawks' backfield appear volatile for fantasy football purposes.
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (shoulder) told the media his surgically repaired shoulder is "100 percent." (Source: Brian Cotello on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Petty also said that he will participate in next week's OTAs now that his shoulder is fully recovered. The 25-year-old signal caller will compete with Christian Hackenberg for the remainder of the offseason to see who will emerge as New York's No. 2 quarterback behind Josh McCown, the presumed starter for the upcoming season. Unless Petty starts, he will garner zero fantasy value for 2017.
Category: Injury Updates
The New Orleans Saints have signed tight end Clay Harbor. (Source: Nick Underhil on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Harbor, 29, signed with the Saints over the weekend. The seven-yer veteran, who has been primarily a blocking tight end throughout his career, is expected to assume a similar role in New Orleans -- if he makes the roster. Coby Fleener is the TE1 on the Saints for the upcoming season.
Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane told the media Tyrod Taylor is "probably" the team's starting quarterback for 2017, but will have to "compete" for the job. "We have open competition everywhere,” Beane said during an interview with Peter King via the MMQB. “Obviously it is a quarterback league, but with Tyrod, . . . He has some tools, his speed, he is tough to game-plan for. He has some strengths and he is still a young starter in this league. It is going to be a competition for every position, to let them fight it out and earn the right to start on this team.” (Source: Pro Football Talk)
Fantasy Impact: Although the Bills retained Taylor for 2017, and head coach Sean McDermott already deemed him the starter, Beane, Buffalo's new GM, stated Monday that there will be an open competition for the starting quarterback job. Currently, the Bills are carrying five signal callers on their depth chart. Taylor, Nathan Peterman, Cardale Jones, T.J. Yates and Josh Woodrum will all be in the mix, but realistically, it's the former's job to lose. Beane's comments could have been made to light a fire under Taylor, whose shined in the past, but has never carried the team over the proverbial hump. From a fantasy football perspective, barring an unforeseen turn of events in training camp and the preseason, Taylor will enter the upcoming season starting under center for the Bills. Due to his versatility as a passer and a runner, the 27-year-old makes for a reliable fantasy option when presented with a fine matchup. However, because he struggles at times, he will once again open the year in the high-end QB2 tier. Perhaps, if Sammy Watkins' health remains intact, plus, Zay Jones emerges as a rookie, they could be the outside help that Taylor needs to become an every-week fantasy starter.
Houston Texans pass rusher J.J. Watt (back) told the media he feels "fantastic" at a charity softball game on Saturday. (Source: Houston Chronicle)
Fantasy Impact: Watt only played in three games in 2016 due to an in-season surgery to repair a lingering back injury. Although he will miss OTAs, he has not suffered a setback this offseason and is fully on track in his recovery. Expect Watt, 28, to be ready for the start of training camp in late-July.
Category: Injury Updates
Cleveland Browns beat writer Tony Grossi is reporting running back Isaiah Crowell could skip all of the team's voluntary workouts due to his contract. (Source: ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: Although Crowell signed his RFA tender last week, he has yet to report to voluntary workouts. The 24-year-old running back, who is likely holding out for a long-term deal, is still not expected to miss any of the team's mandatory sessions that begin in June. Barring a new contract, Crowell will hit the open free agent market in the 2018 offseason.
By Anthony Cervino Sun, May 14th 3:03pm EDT
Denver Broncos beat writer Mike Klis is reporting tight end Jake Butt (knee) is participating in individual drills at camp in a limited capacity. (Source: Mike Klis on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Butt is "walking through" individual drills at camp, per Klis. Although he is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered at the Orange Bowl, any participation right now is uplifting for his 2017 outlook. Still, expect the rookie tight end to begin the upcoming season on the PUP list, as previously reported.
Category: Injury Updates
Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Mularkey reiterated Friday that quarterback Marcus Mariota (leg) will not be rushed back onto the field. (Source: Titansonline.com)
Fantasy Impact: Mariota is still recovering from a broken fibula suffered at the tail end of the 2016 season and is still not running at full speed. During a Q & A on TitansOnline.com with Jim Wyatt, a team beat reporter, it was suggested that Mariota could miss the preseason, depending on the rehab process. Although the team will not rush their franchise signal caller back on the field -- he'll likely miss all of OTAs and minicamp -- Mularkey told the media that they are trying to get Mariota reps in some capacity to get him acclimated with his new weapons, primarily Corey Davis. Expect to see Mariota participate in 7-on-7 drills, per reports.
Category: Injury Updates
By Anthony Cervino Sat, May 13th 8:36am EDT
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora believes Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is "going to be playing a lot of football this season." (Source: CBS Sports)
Fantasy Impact: Watson will spend the remainder of the offseason battling with Tom Savage to see who will emerge as Houston's starting quarterback for 2017, and it wouldn't be shocking if the rookie won the job. However, if Savage enters the upcoming season as the starter, the Texans will likely turn to Watson sooner rather than later if the former struggles.
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora believes Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer will make his NFL debut by Week 6 of the 2017 regular season. (Source: CBS Sports)
Fantasy Impact: Although La Canfora "would not be surprised" if Kizer was Cleveland's Week 1 starter, his more realistic prediction for the rookie to take the field is by Week 6. The NFL Insider expects the Browns to give Cody Kessler a legitimate chance to run the offense to see if he has long term "starting upside." Although Kizer has minimal fantasy football value in redraft leagues while he is slated as the backup, the rookie is worth a flier in Dynasty formats for future considerations.
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora "wouldn't be shocked" if Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky made his NFL debut in Week 5 of the 2017 regular season. (Source: CBS Sports)
Fantasy Impact: Trubisky starting by Week 5? That is a bold, but not a surprising prediction made by La Canfora, a longtime NFL Insider. Despite deeming Mike Glennon the Bears' quarterback of the future and forwarding him a three-year, $45 million contract which contains $18.5 million in guaranteed money, Chicago traded up to the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to select Trubisky. If Glennon struggles, and most expect that he will, Trubisky will likely be thrust under center sooner rather than later, whether or not he is NFL ready. Trubisky only made 13 collegiate starts at North Carolina.
ESPN is reporting former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain was arrested in Alabama Friday on weapons and marijuana charges. (Source: ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: McClain's latest arrest could be the dagger in an NFL career that had already been in colossal doubt. The troubled 27-year-old linebacker has a laundry list of off the field incidents resulting in suspensions by the league. His last occurred in December of 2016 when he violated the league's substance abuse policy and was suspended indefinitely. I wouldn't expect to see McClain on an NFL field ever again.
By Anthony Cervino Sat, May 13th 7:20am EDT
Fox Sports is reporting the Tennessee Titans will take the "cautious" approach with wide receiver Corey Davis (ankle) while he recovers from an ankle injury. (Source: Fox Sports)
Fantasy Impact: Although the Titans are "proceeding with caution" with Davis and his injured ankle, beat writer Terry McCormick is reporting the fifth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft participated in individual drills at rookie minicamp. While Davis' outlook for team workouts appears discouraging in the coming weeks, he is expected to be ready to go for the start of training camp in late July. Barring a setback, Davis is currently slated to enter the 2017 season starting opposite Rishard Matthews on an up and coming Titans offense.
Category: Injury Updates
By Vincent Davis Fri, May 12th 6:38pm EDT
Texans OT Derek Newton has been officially ruled out for the 2017 season after being placed on reserve/PUP. In 2016 Newton tore his patellar tendons in both of his knees against the Broncos. (Source: Field Yates on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: This is disappointing news for both Newton and Texans fans alike. Newton being out means Chris Clark is going to be the starting RT as of now for the team. Clark struggled immensely last year stepping in for Newton. It will be interesting to see how Houston addresses this hole in the offensive line. Fourth-rounder Julie'n Davenport could be an option but is, of course, unproven at the NFL level. As of now, life has gotten a little more difficult for Texans RB Lamar Miller and whoever the Texans decide to go with at QB.
Category: Injury Updates
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