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Latest Player Updates

Reports out of San Francisco are that TE George Kittle and the 49ers remain “far apart” on a contract extension. (Source: Mike Silver on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Kittle is entering the last year of his rookie deal and is set to become a free agent after the 2020 season. He’ll make a little over $2M this year, and is in line for a big payday. Whether Kittle commands tight end or wide receiver-type money is the key. His agent Jack Bechta said, a “tight end deal is a non-starter.” For reference, the highest paid TE in 2019 was Jimmy Graham at $10M, while the highest paid WR in 2019 was Julio Jones at $22M. With Kittle catching over 80 passes for over 1,000 yards and five TDs in each of the last two seasons, Bechta is convinced Kittle can transcend the tight end market and get paid like the all-around player he is, saying, “I don’t care about the tight end market.” Kittle is a close second to Travis Kelce in FantasyPros expert consensus rankings, and they may be in a tier all by themselves ahead of guys like Mark Andrews and Zach Ertz.

DL Dee Ford is fully healthy after undergoing “relatively minor” knee surgery this off-season. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Ford missed five games In 2019 due to hamstring and quadricep injuries. He is in a “much better place health wise than he was last year,” said Rapoport. Ford should be all systems for before the start of the NFL season. The 29-year-old was made available this off-season by the 49ers, but there has been no talk of a possible deal. Ford racked up 14 tackles and 6.5 sacks across 11 games in 2019. He will most likely be in a situational role in 2020 and is mainly an option in deep-league IDP formats.

Category: Injury Updates

DT Chris Jones hasn't signed his franchise tender and there hasn't been much "traction" on a long-term extension, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. (Source: Jeremy Fowler on Twitter )

Fantasy Impact: Jones and the Chiefs have until July 15th to agree on a long-term deal. He's kept in touch with the Chiefs through virtual meetings, but talks of a new contract have stalled. "Not much traction on contract front but both sides have until July 15. Market for high-end DTs is $20-plus-million per year," per Fowler. The 25-year-old has been dominant for the Chiefs, recording 24.5 sacks in his last two seasons. The Chiefs will continue to work with their star defensive tackle towards a long-term extension. Jones is a strong fantasy option in IDP league formats.

Nick O'Leary, who joined the Raiders in April, was placed on the NFL's reserve/non-football list rendering him illegible for the upcoming season, and could signal the end of his professional career. It is not immediately clear if O'Leary suffered an injury while working out on his own, or if he simply wants to retire. To fill his place on the roster the Raiders re-signed tight end Paul Butler (Source: Field Yates on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: O'Leary, who will turn 28 in August, played five seasons in the NFL as a member of four different teams, catching 53 passes for 668 yards with four touchdowns. The Raiders feel quite comfortable with the tight ends they have on roster, most notably: Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, Jason Witten, and Derek Carrier.

Category: Injury Updates

New Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins was on the Jalen & Jacoby show on Thursday and said, “I definitely think I’m the best [WR in the NFL].” (Source: Josh Weinfuss on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Hopkins went on to state that other top WRs Michael Thomas and Julio Jones both benefit from playing with Pro Bowl quarterbacks Drew Brees and Matt Ryan throughout their entire careers. But Hopkins, who’s caught passes from 10 different QBs since being drafted by the Texans in 2013, doesn’t let that cloud his mind. He said, “I don’t complain. I don’t make excuses. I go out there and work.” Hopkins reiterated his excitement in getting to play with Kyler Murray and hopes that he can build chemistry and play with him for more than three seasons. In Kliff Kingsbury’s run-and-gun, pass-happy offense, Hopkins sees his numbers going up from a season ago. He said, "Oh yeah, absolutely. Obviously I've played with a lot of quarterbacks and put up great numbers, being in offenses that necessarily weren't a pass-first offense. So, myself, being a receiver, of course I see my stats going up.” Over his last three seasons in Houston, Hopkins caught over 100 balls in two of them, and went for over 1,000 yards each year. He caught a total of 31 TDs. It’s scary to think what he’ll be able to do in a high-octane offense being led by an up-and-coming quarterback. He’s ranked as the #5 WR in FantasyPros expert consensus rankings, but could easily finish in the top-3 at his position this season should he build chemistry early with Murray.

LB Matt Judon officially signed his franchise tag with the Ravens. (Source: Tom Pelissero on Twitter )

Fantasy Impact: Judon agreed to compromise salary of $16.8 million. He set career-highs in sacks (9.5) and forced fumbles (4) in 2019. Judon will play on the franchise tag this year as the Ravens look to sign him towards a long-term extension. The 27-year-old is currently 53rd among all linebackers in the latest expert consensus rankings.

Category: Transactions

CB Eli Apple agreed to terms on a one-year, $3 million contract with the Panthers on Thursday. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Apple originally agreed to sign with the Raiders in March, but the deal fell apart. He became a free agent again, and ended up with the Panthers on a one-year deal. Apple will most likely start at corner opposite Donte Jackson. The 24-year-old racked up 58 tackles, four pass defenses and a forced fumble across 15 games for the Saints in 2019.

Category: Transactions

RB Carlos Hyde officially signed his one-year deal with the Seahawks on Thursday. Seattle released G Demetrius Knox in a corresponding move. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Hyde can earn up to $4 million on his one-year contract. He had surgery on his shoulder in February, but is expected to be ready before the NFL season starts. Hyde logged 245 carries for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns across 16 games for the Texans in 2019. The 29-year-old RB will most likely be an early-down complement to Chris Carson. With Rashaad Penny expected to the land on the PUP list, Hyde could play a key role right off the bat. He is currently 74th among all running backs in the latest expert consensus rankings.

Category: Transactions

New 49ers LT Trent Williams has agreed to restructure the final year of his contract and will receive some of his $12.5M base salary as a signing bonus. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The 49ers are doing right by the All-Pro LT whom they traded for ahead of Day Three of the 2020 NFL Draft. Williams will receive an upfront pro-rated signing bonus from San Francisco to help make up for the fact that he didn’t receive a paycheck in 2019 after sitting out the season in Washington. This move will also lower Williams’ hit on the 2020 cap for the 49ers. A classy move from a classy organization, and one that will likely prove to be beneficial for both the team and the player.

Category: Transactions

Gardner Minshew is “accurate, tough, and obviously he’s a great leader so he’s got the intangibles you want in a QB,” said Jaguars’ OC Jay Gruden. (Source: Mike Giardi on Twitter )

Fantasy Impact: Minshew led the Jaguars to a 6-6 record across 12 starts. “He has shown a skillset where he can sit in a pocket, step up, make things happen outside the pocket,” Gruden added. The Jaguars did sign QB Mike Glennon this off-season, but HC Doug Marrone confirmed that Minshew was “no doubt” the starting QB. The 24-year-old threw for 3,271 yards with a 21:6 TD:INT ratio across 14 games. Minshew is currently 24th among all quarterbacks in the latest expert consensus rankings.

Cardinals DB Patrick Peterson said on a Zoom call Thursday that he and the Cardinals have not had any contract talks to this point. (Source: Darren Urban on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Peterson enters into the final year of his five-year, $70M deal he signed back in 2015. He told the media he thinks 2020 could be a special year for him and the Cardinals. “I feel I have a lot to prove,” said Peterson. He also said he would love to stay with one team his entire career. He’s played nine seasons in the NFL, all with the Cardinals, racking up 438 tackles and 25 INTs in 138 games played. Peterson will look to prove to the naysayers that at 29 years old he is still one of the best defensive backs in the game.

Redskins offensive coordinator Scott Turner says he will need to creatively get the ball to Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic. (Source: JP Finlay on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: "You want to be as unpredictable as possible," Turner elaborated. "Guys that are able to do more things give you more options." Gibson is the slightly more interesting name here for fantasy purposes, though Washington has far too many running backs it seems. Gibson mainly played wideout in college but the Redskins seem intent on using him as a running back.

Redskins offensive coordinator Scott Turner says "there's a role" for the type of back Adrian Peterson is. (Source: JP Finlay on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: In terms of the passing game Turner added that AP could be used in checkdown situations or for play action. However, Peterson has just 49 targets over the past two seasons combined. Derrius Guice, Antonio Gibson, and J.D. McKissic will all see time in this committee as well.

After suffering four injuries in his rookie season and playing in only seven games Parris Campbell is now 100% healthy according to an interview with insider Jim Ayello of The Indianapolis Star. Campbell has been keeping himself on a strict routine in preparation for the 2020 season. (Source: Jim Ayello on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Parris Campbell is expected to be Phillip Rivers' primary slot receiver in 2020, flanked by veteran T.Y. Hilton and rookie Michael Pittman. It is imperative that Campbell makes a full return to health in his sophomore season, as last year his inability to stay on the field lead to Zach Pascal emerging as one of the Colts' more reliable wide receiver options (41-607-5).

Category: Injury Updates

Free agent DE Jadeveon Clowney has been offered the most money by the Browns to date, according to Adam Schefter, who made an appearance Wednesday on The Next Level on ESPN Cleveland. (Source: Jake Trotter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: “I think they’ve [the Browns] been the most aggressive team with him financially,” Schefter said, and “for whatever reason he has not been willing to take it [the offer] so far.” Clowney doesn’t seem interested in Cleveland but according to Schefter they definitely seem interested in him. It’s been reported recently that the New Orleans Saints have also entered into the picture as a potential landing spot for Clowney, in addition to other teams that have been rumored to be interested in the pass-rusher, including Philadelphia, Tennessee, Cleveland, and Seattle.

Category: Rumors

Packers RB Aaron Jones told reporters today that he “would love to be a lifelong Packer,” but admitted that he doesn’t know if that can become a reality. (Source: Rob Demovsky on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Jones is set to become a free agent after the 2020 season when his rookie deal expires. He’ll make just over $2M this year coming off a spectacular 2019 season in which he rushed for 1,084 yards and 16 TDs. The Packers took RB A.J. Dillon in the second-round of the Draft in case they can’t extend Jones long term. Jones’ agent Chris Cabott also told reporters that “there have been conversations and there will continue to be [regarding a contract extension].” Even with Dillon and Jamaal Williams in Green Bay, expect Jones to be a solid RB2, but expect regression from the 16 rushing touchdowns from a season ago.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson sustained a groin injury during Week 2 last season and had offseason sports hernia surgery, he told reporters Wednesday. (Source: Brooke Pryor on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Johnson hasn’t received full clearance yet to begin training, but he told reporters that he’ll get it “in the next couple days.” The second-year WR is primed to make a splash this season working with QB Ben Roethlisberger. Johnson had a great rookie season with subpar quarterback play, catching 59 balls for 680 yards and five TDs on 92 targets. While currently ranked as the #47 WR in FantasyPros expert consensus rankings, Johnson has been identified by many in the fantasy industry as a break-out candidate for the upcoming season. Target him as a potential fringe-WR3.

Category: Injury Updates

Free agent WR Antonio Brown posted a video of him working out with Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins and Chad Ochocinco in Florida on Wednesday. (Source: Chip Brierre on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Because Brown is currently a free agent, the NFL has not taken any disciplinary action against him for his misconduct over the last couple of years. If he were to sign with a team, the league could decide to suspend him accordingly, but that is of course yet to be determined as he tries to work his way back into football shape enough to where a team is willing to give the controversial receiver a chance. Even though he’s seen working out with Haskins, there have not been any rumors of AB to Washington. Brown remains hopeful to play in the NFL at some point in the future.

Le’Veon Bell “can’t wait” to run behind the team’s revamped offensive line, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. (Source: Jeremy Fowler of ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: Bell was asked by Fowler if he noticed the off-season priority of adding “road-graders” to clear a path for the runner, and he responded with “absolutely.” The Jets added Mekhi Becton, Greg Van Roten and George Fant to bolster the offensive line. Bell’s fantasy stock has taken a hit this off-season. The Jets may have bolstered their line, but also added Frank Gore, Kenneth Dixon and LaMichael Perine to the RB mix. In early May, Jets’ HC Adam Gase said “The plan is to take a less is more approach to Bell’s usage in 2020.” Bell is coming off a disappointing 2019 campaign, logging 245 carries for 789 yards along with 66 receptions for 461 yards and four total touchdowns across 15 games. The 28-year-old is currently 23rd among all running backs in the latest expert consensus rankings.

When asked about a possible contract extension this offseason, Texans DE J.J. Watt told reporters, “No, I don't think that's necessary.” (Source: Aaron Wilson on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Watt went on to say, “I'm not going to sit here and demand anything. If I asked for an extension or money right now, I think that would be the wrong move.” Watt has two years left on his contract with no guaranteed money remaining, but wants to go out there and prove what he’s worth. Watt enters into his 10th season with the Texans, having missed 32 games in his last four seasons. He’ll look to enter the 2020 season fully healthy and hungry to prove himself as an elite defensive edge.

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