It's another day with lots of new Content plus the News and Notes you need as we inch towards August.
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This whopping deal easily resets the standard for top running backs in the league. With guys like Le'Veon Bell and David Johnson waiting for new deals, Gurley's extension gives them numbers to work off of. Gurley is a fantasy darling, and fantasy GMs are taking him off the board early in every draft and in any format. He's the centerpiece of what the Rams do on offense and should continue to be incredibly productive.
Fantasy GMs are super excited to see what Thomas can do in year three of his pro career. Each of the last two years, Thomas has finished as a top-10 fantasy receiver...but it doesn't seem like he's yet peaked in his production. Projecting Thomas for 100 catches, 1,200 receiving yards and 5-8 touchdowns seems fair once again. It's a reason why Thomas has a current ADP of WR5 (2.03) in 12-team PPR leagues.
Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey could reach the 200-carry mark, according to head coach Ron Rivera. The coaching staff is reportedly confident McCaffrey can run between the tackles, much like he did in college. McCaffrey has bulked up about five pounds to 210 pounds to be better prepared for the pounding.
McCaffrey is a compact and patient runner who could handle more of the workload as a runner. He's not a pile pusher, but McCaffrey can run between the tackles as he knows how to get skinny and make defenders miss in small areas. His current ADP shows how much fantasy GMs love his upside. McCaffrey is currently going off the board at RB12 (2.07) in 12-team PPR leagues.
It always seems to be something with Coleman. He's got incredible size, measuring in at 6'6" 225 pounds but Coleman has yet to truly play up to his potential. Reports from around Saints camp indicate this injury is minor but it's not a good look for a player on the bubble.
Watt is back to full strength after playing five games last year (and only eight games over the last two seasons). Having a healthy Watt will go a long way to helping the Texans defense perform at a high level in 2018. If the defense holds up and QB Deshaun Watson plays well, we could see the Texans make a playoff run this year.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden wants to throw things back to the 90s, but Martin only has to throw it back to 2015...the last time he was impressive as a runner. That year for the Bucs, Martin had over 1,400 yards rushing and was the no.3 fantasy back. This year, Martin is trying to relaunch his career with his new team. He'll serve as the backup to Marshawn Lynch in 2018, but if Martin is back to his old ways he might push this into more of a RBBC than some think.
Meredith could line up outside opposite Michael Thomas and give Drew Brees yet another quality target to throw to. That leaves Ted Ginn Jr. manning the slot, a position where he can thrive. Meredith has a current ADP of WR51 (11.09) in 12-team PPR leagues. If he's healthy (Meredith missed all of last year with the Bears due to a knee injury), Meredith could easily outperform that draft position.
Free-agent TE Antonio Gates (Chargers) is reportedly very much in the picture to rejoin the Los Angeles Chargers, according to a source, who added it would 'their preference' for a deal to get worked out before the start of training camp, per ESPN's Josina Anderson.
It seems like Gates is going to be back with the Chargers in the near future. His name was the first most brought up when Hunter Henry went down with a knee injury in the spring. Gates is no longer the player he used to be but the Chargers don't have much talent at the position without Henry. Right now, free agent addition Virgil Green is their top tight end.
Edmunds packs a punch into his 217 pound frame. While not the type of player to leave in man coverage, Edmunds can excel in zone looks where he can roam and find the play quickly. Edmunds is strong against the run and not afraid of contact. He can make an impact as a special teams player as a rookie and eventually turn into a plus-starter for the Steelers.
Ansah underwent surgery earlier this offseason and no timetable from his return is known. The Lions did not come to a long-term agreement with Ansah before the deadline for franchise-tagged players, so he's playing on the franchise tag at a price around $17.1 million in 2018.
With rookie contracts slotted, we can't see any problems for Darnold to sign before significant work gets done in training camp. He's seen as the quarterback of the future, and we're expecting the rookie from USC to take over as the starter at some point this season. There's even a chance Darnold wins the job over Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater in training camp. Stay tuned.
Washington is third or fourth on the depth chart at best. The team added Doug Martin this offseason and still have Marshawn Lynch to be their lead back. Washington is a smaller/compact back who will have to prove his value on special teams if he wants to stay on the 53-man roster.
Denver Broncos TE Jake Butt has made an early impression on the team's new quarterback, Case Keenum, who described Butt as someone 'who wants the ball' and 'hungry for knowledge,' according to Kyle Fredrickson of The Denver Post.
Broncos fans are hoping that Butt can be like Kyle Rudolph was for Keenum last year in Minnesota. Butt missed all of his rookie season recovering from a knee injury suffered in his bowl game at Michigan. The second-year pro has some Rudolph-like qualities to his game, but it usually takes time for tight ends to make an impact in the pros. We love Butt's dynasty stock but there are many other re-draft tight ends we'd rather have...even as reserve/TE2s on our rosters.
Baltimore Ravens TE Hayden Hurst (undisclosed) returned to practice Tuesday, July 24, after missing two due to a reported soft-tissue injury. CB Jimmy Smith (Achilles') and TE Mark Andrews (undisclosed) were among eight players who did not practice Tuesday, according to ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
Hurst and Andrews have been missing time due to soft tissue injuries. The pair of rookie TEs will compete to establish a pecking order at the position. We could see Hurst end up winning the job in the Ravens revamped passing attack.
Those projections for Breida in year two are fair. He's competing to be the primary backup behind free agent addition Jerrick McKinnon. Breida would get a big workload if McKinnon missed time and have RB2 value in that instance for Fantasy GMs. Keep this in mind if you want to handcuff a back to McKinnon or jock-block another GM from doing that late in your draft.
Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison will have to fend off competition from Michael Clark and the three receivers selected in the draft this spring, but he 'looks like the best bet' to open the season as the third receiver behind Davante Adams and Randall Cobb, according to ESPN's Rob Demovsky.
With Jordy Nelson (Raiders) gone, the Packers are looking for that no.3 WR behind Davante Adams and Randall Cobb. The first shot at that position should go to Allison. He's a big target with a large wingspan and strong hands. Allison has flashed a bit in a part-time role for the Packers and could post career-best numbers in 2018. Keep an eye on him in deep leagues and have Allison on your waiver wire speed dial just in case something happens in front of him on the depth chart.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams (shoulder) is doing 'great,' according to the team's Vice President of Sports Medicine and Performance Rick Burkholder. Williams was able to do 'everything' on the first day of camp Monday, July 23.
The Chiefs have a jam packed backfield and Williams is at best third or fourth on the current depth chart. Undrafted out of Oklahoma in 2014, Williams has spent most of his career with the Dolphins. The Chiefs picked him up back in March as a free agent. Williams is a bigger back, measuring in at 5'11" 220 pounds. His career YPC average is just 3.6 yards so we're not expecting much from him even if he does make the 53-man roster.
Denver Broncos RB De'Angelo Henderson (oblique) declared himself 'healthy now and ready to go' for the start of training camp. He also admitted that he 'probably' came back too quickly from the car accident that led to his injury and dealt with the aftereffects for 'several weeks.'
Henderson is trying to make a case to make the 53-man roster and he's certainly no lock. He did next to nothing last year except for a score on a screen pass in a meaningless Week 17 game against the Chiefs. The Broncos have Devontae Booker and rookie Royce Freeman as the top two backs on the depth chart. Those two will battle in training camp to be the starter. Henderson will try to impress as a change-of-pace back.