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ESPN's Michael Rothstein believes Marcus Mariota is "far ahead" of rookie QB Desmond Ridder on the Falcons depth chart. 

30 June 2022

Rothstein said a training camp or preseason injury would be the only way Ridder finds himself under center for Atlanta in Week 1. Mariota's familiarity with head coach Arthur Smith's offense has given him a distinct edge throughout OTAs and minicamp, Rothstein added (Mariota played under Smith in Tennessee). This report runs contrary to spring reporting that said Ridder was hot on Mariota's heels to nab the Week 1 starting job in Smith's offense. Look for Ridder to take over when the down-bad Fa ...

ESPN's John Keim believes Sam Howell will be the Commanders' third-string quarterback. 

30 June 2022

Howell, a fifth-round pick out of North Carolina, should start the season behind starter Carson Wentz and backup Taylor Heinicke, who started for Washington in 2021. A mobile quarterback with decent arm strength, Howell had a down year in his final season at North Carolina, completing 62.5 percent of his passes for 3,056 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. If Wentz struggles or gets hurt, it seems Heinicke -- one of the league's worst starting QBs in 2021 -- will get the call.& ...

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports that 49ers WR Deebo Samuel has not officially rescinded his trade request.

30 June 2022

"There's not a lot of league-wide chatter about a potential trade right now," adds Fowler, who notes that Samuel showing up for minicamp is a positive. It will be hard to view this situation as entirely stable until the ink is dry on a new contract, but the 49ers clearly have shown no interest in moving Samuel and Deebo doesn't have much recourse if he's not going to hold out -- even holding out would cost him a lot of money. 

The Athletic's Mark Kaboly reports that Steelers QB Kenny Pickett worked exclusively with the third-string offense in OTAs and minicamp.

30 June 2022

Pickett's time with the third-string offense bolsters reports that Mitchell Trubisky has a clear lead for the Week 1 starting job. Kaboly writes, "Unless Trubisky gets hurt or plays terribly in camp and the preseason, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where he doesn’t start the season as the No. 1." Fantasy managers can be forgiven for being initially skeptical that the Steelers would slow play a 24-year-old whose top trait was supposedly being pro-ready, but it does appear highly un ...

A lawsuit filed against the Texans alleges "individuals within the Texans organization knew or should have known of Deshaun Watson's conduct."

30 June 2022

Watson just settled all but four of the lawsuits filed against him. This new lawsuit claims the Texans enabled his behavior by providing "rooms set up for him at the Houstonian Hotel, massage tables provided to him for private massage sessions, and an NDA provided to him from the head of Texans' security." The lawsuit paints a truly disgusting situation in an even worse light by accusing the Texans, an NFL franchise worth billions of dollars, of supporting Watson amidst his alleged instances of ...

Saints EDGE Payton Turner revealed he underwent "pretty major" shoulder surgery in November of last season.

29 June 2022

"It's been a long road to recovery," Turner tweeted Wednesday. "I had a pretty major shoulder surgery last November and didn’t have quite the rookie year I wanted but shoutout to everybody that’s stayed down with me and helped me get to this point, blessed to say I’ve been CLEARED." Turner was picked No. 28 overall last spring out of Houston but played in just five games as a rookie before his season ended in Week 9. Getting Turner back gives the Saints added depth off the edge alongside C ...

Appearing on NBC Sports Philly's Takeoff with John Clark podcast, Miles Sanders said, "I need more opportunities" when asked what he needs to get better at this season.

29 June 2022

"Um, well, being consistent, more consistent," Sanders said, but it sounded like he was holding back before eventually saying he wanted more touches. Clark asked Sanders if he wants to be "used more," and Sanders answered, "I would love to." Sanders was right at the top of the league last season in yards per carry, averaging a robust 5.5 yards per rush, but he somehow failed to score a touchdown despite seeing 20 red-zone carries, including 10 inside the 10-yard line and five inside the five. Ja ...

Contract-year RB Kareem Hunt declared himself 100% healthy after missing nine games with calf and ankle injuries last season.

29 June 2022

Hunt missed Weeks 7-11 on injured reserve with a strained calf and then injured his ankle in Week 14, ending his year. The soon-to-be 27-year-old is now looking for an extension from the Browns, but it doesn't sound like Cleveland is in much of a rush to get one done after Hunt's injury-riddled year coupled with Nick Chubb already signed through 2024 and possibly D'Ernest Johnson a cheaper alternative to Hunt moving forward. There's a chance Hunt's snaps are dialed back some in order to get John ...

Saints WR Marquez Callaway (thumb) participated in June minicamp.

29 June 2022

Callaway underwent surgery in January but practiced without limitations this spring. The third-year receiver is healthy but has been buried on the depth chart with the additions of Jarvis Landry and first-round WR Chris Olave this offseason. Callaway will likely need an injury in front of him to open the season higher than the Saints' No. 4 wideout.

Bucs coach Todd Bowles said Blaine Gabbert "has the edge" over second-year QB Kyle Trask for the team's backup job.

29 June 2022

"I'm comfortable with Blaine. He knows this offense very well. Knows where to go with the football because he's been in it. You know, that gives him the edge over Trask." Gabbert has spent the past two seasons as the Bucs' backup and hasn't faced much competition from Trask, who had a 53% completion rate and two interceptions in three preseason games last year. Trask will likely continue to spend 2022 developing as the No. 3 quarterback.

Ravens WR Devin Duvernay said he hopes to earn a starting role in training camp.

29 June 2022

The Ravens didn't draft a wideout after losing Sammy Watkins to the Packers and trading Marquise Brown, leaving Duvernay, James Proche and Tylan Wallace to compete for roles behind Rashod Bateman. Duvernay made the Pro Bowl as a returner in 2021 and had seven starts on offense, posting a career-high 33/272/2 as the Ravens' deep threat. Duvernay would be the favorite to start opposite Bateman if the Ravens don't sign a veteran before camp.

Bucs.com's Scott Smith considers rookie Cade Otton the "best option" to be the team's No. 1 tight end this season.

29 June 2022

The Bucs drafted Otton, who missed offseason workouts recovering from ankle surgery, as a hedge to Rob Gronkowski's retirement. With Gronkowski not returning, there's "potential for him to be the tight end the Bucs keep on the field most," according to Smith. Bucs TE Cameron Brate averaged under four targets and 70% of snaps in three starts for Gronkowski last year and is an inferior blocker to Otton, an every-down tight end and Day 1 starter at Washington. Otton will be eigh ...

The Wall Street Journal's Andrew Beaton reports that the NFL will push for "an indefinite suspension that would last no shorter than one year" for Deshaun Watson.

29 June 2022

Watson's hearing with the NFL will begin on Tuesday, and ultimate clarity may finally be coming for how we should proceed as fantasy managers with Browns players this season. All of the recent reporting we've seen has pointed to the NFL wanting Watson to be gone for at least a year. It sure sounds like the NFLPA is ready to fight a Watson suspension of any real length, so appeals seem likely no matter the initial decision. The momentum at this time definitely seems to be leading to an enormous p ...

The Athletic's Ben Standig reports that the Commanders have "rebuffed" teams interested in trading for contract-year DT Daron Payne.

28 June 2022

Payne is due an $8.5 million salary in the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, but the Commanders haven't prioritized him for an extension. Other teams have approached the Commanders about Payne and might be willing to offer "significant cost in trade compensation and salary on a new deal." A deal that could be worth $17-$18 million annually for Payne. The Commanders drafted Phildarian Mathis in the second round of this year's draft and Payne could be a trade target to monitor in training ...

The Athletic's Ben Standig writes that Brian Robinson could be an answer for Washington in goal-line or short-yardage situations.

28 June 2022

"Often the rookie gets eased into such scenarios, but [Antonio] Gibson’s penchant for fumbles combined with Robinson’s ball security and interior running could flip this toward the Alabama alum." That's exactly what every Antonio Gibson manager was hoping to hear, we're sure. Gibson remains a high-risk lead back, while Robinson could potentially be part of an early committee in Washington. 

Commanders signed WR Terry McLaurin to a three-year, $71 million contract extension. 

28 June 2022

The deal reportedly includes a $28 million signing bonus. There was never much reason to be concerned about McLaurin's fantasy stock this season -- if you can deliver with Taylor Heinicke, you can deliver with anybody -- but it's good that he'll see actual training camp reps with Carson Wentz. It's also some much-needed good publicity for a franchise that is currently drowning in bad news. McLaurin will enter the season on the WR2 radar, and all eyes turn to DK Metcalf as the last major wideout ...

The Athletic's Chad Graff and Arif Hasan both describe Vikings' coach Kevin O'Connell's offense as "pass-happy." 

28 June 2022

In the larger context of a post about if Cousins can take a step forward in empirical play, both Graff and Hasan note that they believe that Cousins can crack 4,500+ passing yards in 2022. Cousins' best output in his four years in Minnesota to date has been 4,298 yards in 2018. Graff also believes Cousins could be "in the ballpark" of 40 touchdowns. If Cousins does 4,500+ passing yards and 40 passing touchdowns, he'd be on the QB1 line ala Matthew Stafford's bump last season. 

The Athletic's Mark Kaboly writes of Pat Freiermuth's season-high receiving yardage of 58 in 2021: "With Eric Ebron gone, that number will go up."

28 June 2022

"[Freiermuth] will be a top-10 tight end in the NFL, or maybe higher, at the end of the season," Kaboly notes. Ebron had just 84 receiving yards last year, so it's not like he was the primary culprit holding Freiermuth back from a bigger role. But it is possible that he takes a second-year leap and overtakes Chase Claypool as the No. 2 fantasy target on Pittsburgh's radar. He also is the main red zone threat for the Steelers as he had 20 targets and seven scores despite playing only 62% of ...

Patriots C David Andrews agreed to a restructured contract.

28 June 2022

The restructure converts $3.2 million of Andrews' salary into a signing bonus and saves $2.1 million for the Patriots, who had $200K in 2022 cap space. Andrews, 29, is signed through 2024.

SiriusXM's Shane Vereen expects Bucs TE Cade Otton to be "one of the top rookie pass catchers."

28 June 2022

"He is that good. He was a great college tight end. And I think he has the smarts to get on the same page in a Tom Brady offense. I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people,” said Vereen, who covers Pac-12 games as a TV analyst and played with Brady for four years in New England. Otton has yet to practice with the Bucs as he recovers from November ankle surgery. The fourth-round rookie never reached his full potential in college due to injuries, but with Rob Gronkowski retired, ...

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