Player Notes

  • Jake Butt (knee) says he's 100 percent healthy
    Broncos TE Jake Butt (knee) said he's back to 100 percent health. 

    Advice: Butt missed all of 2019 after undergoing left knee surgery. It was his fourth "major" knee operation since 2014. With Albert Okwuegbunam joining Noah Fant in the Broncos' tight end room, 25-year-old (in July) Butt's time with the Broncos has probably come and gone. Yesterday, 8:00 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • 49ers, Kittle 'far apart' on contract extension
    NFL Network's Mike Silver reports the 49ers and contract-year TE George Kittle are "far apart" in extension talks. 

    Advice: "I don't care about the tight end market, I'm being paid to do a George Kittle deal," were the words of Kittle's agent. Kittle's rep referenced Kittle's elite blocking and leadership in addition to his pass-catching prowess up the seam. Kittle, understandably, doesn't want to be lumped in with Austin Hooper's recent deal. He wants to blow it out of the water and likely will. Yesterday, 7:55 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • DeAndre Hopkins: 'I see my stats going up'
    Speaking Thursday, DeAndre Hopkins said he expects to post better numbers in Arizona. 

    Advice: "So myself, being a receiver, of course I see my stats going up," Hopkins said of Kliff Kingsbury's pass-friendly attack. "But I definitely see myself having one of my more productive seasons." Hopkins slumped to three-year lows across the board last season as the Texans seemed oddly stagnant on offense. Hopkins fills a massive need as a bona fide No. 1 receiver for Kingsbury and Kyler Murray. The Cardinals want to run four-wide attacks and get the ball down field. Personnel made it difficult to do in 2019. Hopkins changes the game for 2020. He's a safe top-five option at wide receiver, with the upside for a No. 1 overall finish. Thursday, 1:51 pm
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • EA Sports keeps exclusive NFL video-game license
    The NFL announced Thursday that EA Sports will remain its exclusive video-game producer through at least 2025.  

    Advice: The NFL actually opened up the bidding this time around, but EA will remain the league's exclusive home, as it has been since an agreement was struck in 2004. NFL spokesman Brian Rolapp said the competition was not close. “EA made the most compelling case,” Rolapp said. "And beat out the competition pretty soundly.” EA reportedly unveiled a “plan of innovation for the next handful of years." A lack of innovation has been a common criticism, but too much innovation leads to things like the vision cone. Hopefully a happy medium can be found in the next few years. Thursday, 1:37 pm
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Raiders send Nick O'Leary to injured reserve
    Raiders placed TE Nick O'Leary on the reserve/NFI list, ending his season. 

    Advice: It means O'Leary got hurt working out on his own. O'Leary was signed as offseason depth on March 21. His loss won't be felt in the Raiders' deep tight end corps. Provided he is not dealing with something like a torn ACL or ruptured Achilles' tendon, 27-year-old O'Leary will likely end up getting cut loose with an injury settlement. Thursday, 1:35 pm
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • John Harbaugh: Roles for all four running backs
    Speaking in a Thursday Zoom session, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he envisions roles for all four of his running backs. 

    Advice: That is Mark Ingram, J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill for those keeping score at home. Harbaugh's comments came in the context of discussing Hill, whom he said he expected to "make a big jump" in 2020. "Is that really a problem?" Harbaugh asked rhetorically. "Having four guys who can break long runs and make guys miss?" They're encouraging comments for those holding onto Hill in dynasty leagues, but the reality is, it is going to be very tough for Hill to carve out a meaningful role behind Ingram and Dobbins, especially since Dobbins can also catch passes. Lamar Jackson also barely targeted his running backs in 2019. Hill remains six months shy of his 23rd birthday, but his role in the Ravens' scheme of things is hard to spot right now. He needs to run circles around Dobbins on third downs this summer. Thursday, 1:24 pm
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Report: Eagles have interest in Shady and Freeman
    The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane reports the Eagles have interest in free agent RBs LeSean McCoy and Devonta Freeman.

    Advice: The Eagles haven't made an offer to McCoy at this time. They did make an offer to Freeman, but he's reportedly considering sitting out the entire season if he doesn't get a better deal. It's clear the Eagles have every plan to add an early-down complement to Miles Sanders after Jordan Howard took his talents to South Beach. Either way it's not the end of the world for Sanders' fantasy value; he's locked in as the lead back and could have a rather robust receiving role in what figures to be at least an above-average offense. Neither McCoy nor Freeman looked like their former selves in 2019, but they also weren't completely washed. The Eagles' beastly offensive line would be a good landing spot for either veteran. Thursday, 9:11 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Gruden: Minshew has intangibles you want in a QB
    Jaguars OC Jay Gruden said QB Gardner Minshew has "got the intangibles you want in a quarterback."

    Advice: Gruden added that Minshew, "Has shown a skillset where he can sit in a pocket, step up, make things happen outside the pocket. He’s accurate, he’s tough and obviously he’s a great leader." Minshew impressed as a rookie considering the circumstances of being thrust into the starting lineup halfway through the first quarter in Week 1 after Nick Foles suffered a broken clavicle. The 2019 sixth-round pick led the Jaguars to a 6-6 record in 12 starts, functioning as an above-average QB in adjusted yards per attempt (No. 13 among qualified QBs), QB rating under pressure (No. 10) and QB rating throwing deep (No. 1). The rushing floor might just be high enough here for Minshew to function as a solid late-round fantasy investment. Overall, only Lamar Jackson (1,206 rush yards), Kyler Murray (544), Josh Allen (510) and Deshaun Watson (413) had more yards on the ground than Minshew (344) last season. Thursday, 7:38 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Aaron Jones, Packers talking long-term contract
    Aaron Jones' agent, Chris Cabott, confirmed "there have been conversations" regarding a long-term extension with the Packers.

    Advice: Jones admitted he "would love to be a lifelong Packer" but isn't sure it's plausible. Even so, Cabott has had ongoing conversations regarding a long-term deal for the 25-year-old ahead of 2020, the final year of Jones' contract. As Rob Demovsky notes, the Packers haven't given a second contract to a running back they drafted since James Starks, a sixth-round pick in 2010, and most recently allowed Eddie Lacy to walk after rushing for 1,000 yards in 2016. Currently set to make $2.13 million this year, it's also possible the Packers simply feel comfortable moving forward with second-rounder A.J. Dillon long-term. Wednesday, 12:52 pm
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Diontae Johnson played through hernia last season
    Steelers WR Diontae Johnson told reporters he sustained a groin injury in Week 2 last year.

    Advice: Johnson's sports-hernia operation in February was thought to be a minor cleanup, but the 23-year-old admitted he played through the injury for most of his rookie season. He hasn't received full clearance to return to training just yet but is hopeful he'll receive word "in the next couple days" and be a full-go in June's minicamps. Johnson astonishingly led the Steelers in targets (92), catches (59), and receiving scores (5) while playing through said injury and should only improve in his sophomore follow-up after working out with Ben Roethlisberger this offseason. It's only a matter of time before his eighth-round ADP inclines even further. Wednesday, 11:45 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Parris Campbell says he's officially '100 percent'
    Colts WR Parris Campbell (foot) said he's "100 percent" and has been running routes at full speed "for the last two months."

    Advice: The second-year wideout said he stuck to a "strict routine" this offseason after dealing with four separate injuries across seven appearances as a rookie. Expected to open Colts minicamp with a clean bill of health from the slot, Campbell (6'0/205, 4.31 40) projects as a late-round value in fantasy drafts as Philip Rivers' reliable safety valve underneath. T.Y. Hilton and No. 34 overall pick Michael Pittman are expected to start on opposite boundaries. Wednesday, 11:32 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Le'Veon Bell 'can't wait' to run behind Jets OL
    Jets RB Le'Veon Bell told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler he "can't wait" to run behind the team's revamped offensive line.

    Advice: Fowler asked Bell if noticed the offseason priority of adding "road-graders" to clear a path for the runner, responding with "absolutely." The running game can only improve after last season's disastrous performance, where the Jets ranked among the bottom three teams in numerous run game metrics. The additions of Mekhi Becton, guard Greg Van Roten, center Connor McGovern and tackle George Fant among others should create more yards before contact for Bell, who also has to worry about staying in favor of head coach Adam Gase. Wednesday, 10:02 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • OC Turner: Need to creatively get Gibson the ball
    Redskins OC Scott Turner said he will need to creatively get the ball to Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic and Steven Sims.

    Advice: "You want to be as unpredictable as possible," Turner explained. "Guys that are able to do more things give you more options." Three might be too many players who need touches manufactured for them on a weekly basis. Specifically on Gibson, the Redskins continue to mention him as a running back, but Turner noted Gibson spent 80-percent of his time at Memphis as a receiver - a position of weakness for Washington. Sims and Gibson absolutely have big-play upside on selective touches, but carving out an every-down role would be preferred. Wednesday, 9:00 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Turner: There will be a role for Adrian Peterson
    Redskins OC Scott Turner told reporters "there's a role for the type of back" that Adrian Peterson is.

    Advice: Turner added Peterson "can be good in checkdown situations or great for play action," in terms of usage in the passing game. Those situations have always been a questionable aspect of Peterson's game, and now they matter more than ever. In 31 games over the last two seasons, Peterson has just 49 targets to his name. Turner issued typical coach speak when asked how the team's running backs will be used, saying the goal is to "foster competition" and they will "play whoever gives them the best chance." Expect three backs to touch the ball each week in the Redskins offense. Wednesday, 8:17 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Joe Flacco confirms he won't be ready for Week 1
    Speaking Tuesday, Joe Flacco (neck surgery) confirmed he will not be ready for Week 1. 

    Advice: “I can’t speak to exactly when I’m going to be ready, but it will not be day one," Flacco said. This, frankly, makes it unclear why the Jets signed him, as they may now end up carrying four quarterbacks on their 53-man roster, a horrid misuse of resources. Flacco sounds like a potential candidate for reserve/PUP, which would reduce that number to three until Flacco was activated. Tuesday, 2:41 pm
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • XFL could return with new owner in spring 2021
    According to bankruptcy filings, the XFL could return with a new owner as soon as spring 2021. 

    Advice: The Athletic reports there are "dozens of bidders are looking over the league’s financials and interested in relaunching it next February." It had been rumored that Vince McMahon filed for bankruptcy with the intention of buying his old property back at a bargain price, but he insists that is not the case. Considering the coronavirus pandemic and personnel complexities, next spring would be a highly-aggressive return target for the ever-on-the-brink league. Tuesday, 2:19 pm
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Jay Gruden wants Chark to spend time in the slot
    New Jaguars OC Jay Gruden plans to feature D.J. Chark all over the formation, including the slot. 

    Advice: It is standard summer coachspeak. This might not necessarily mean anything different for Chark, who ran 24 percent of his routes out of the slot last season. Regardless of what Gruden says, he will be a big upgrade as a schemer for Chark. The Jags featured some of the league's least-imaginative play-calling in 2019. Tuesday, 10:55 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Bears to play both Foles and Trubisky in preseason
    Bears coach Matt Nagy said both Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky will play with the starters during the preseason.

    Advice: This of course assumes that teams are cleared to return for preseason games. Nagy doesn't normally look to play his starters in August, but Chicago's "open competition" under center will force the issue at hand this year. With past experience under QB coach John DeFilippo (Jaguars, Eagles), OC Bill Razor (Eagles), and Nagy (Eagles, Chiefs), Foles is fully expected to be in the lineup for the Bears' season opener in Detroit. Tuesday, 7:51 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Patriots' No. 4 and 5 receiver jobs 'wide open'?
    The Athletic's Jeff Howe speculates the Patriots' "competition is wide open for the fourth and fifth receiver jobs."

    Advice: Assuming Julian Edelman (shoulder surgery) and Mohamed Sanu (ankle surgery) are both cleared for camp, second-year pro N'Keal Harry is the only other 'lock' among New England's receiving options. Howe notes that Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski are the incumbents for those roster spots with Damiere Byrd, Marqise Lee, and UDFAs Will Hastings and Jeff Thomas as potential pivots. Assuming it's Jarrett Stidham under center against the Dolphins in Week 1, the team would be wise to sift through legitimate options at that position as soon as possible. Tuesday, 5:57 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Report: Miami not opposed to playing Tua this year
    The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson reports the Dolphins are not opposed to playing No. 5 overall pick Tua Tagovailoa as a rookie.

    Advice: Jackson writes that while it’s "likely" Ryan Fitzpatrick will begin the season as the starter, the Dolphins are open to playing Tua if he earns the opportunity at any point this year. With five years of experience with OC Chan Gailey and familiarity with the cast of supporting players around him, though, it's hard to imagine Fitzpatrick on the bench for the team's season opener in New England. The fact that Tagovailoa can't do any on-field work with Miami's coaching staff because of the lack of an offseason program is an uphill battle that could trickle into the regular season. Tuesday, 5:21 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
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