Damn. Adam Schefter tweeted late Tuesday night that Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry suffered what is believed to be a season-ending torn ACL during a drill. The team plans to get a second opinion Wednesday.
It’s a tough blow to Henry in what was set to be his breakout season. The Chargers signed Virgil Green to replace Antonio Gates, but may bring back Gates for another season in light of this news. Gates played limited snaps (47%) last year en route to 30 catches for 316 yards and 3 touchdowns. He would be a streaming option if he’s playing starter-type snaps (70%+).
The official Twitter account of the New York Jets tweeted the news from head coach Todd Bowles that QB Christian Hackenberg was dealt to the Oakland Raiders for a 2019 conditional seventh-round draft pick.
The Jets' QB depth chart has had quite the overhaul from last year. Incumbent starter Josh McCown remains, while the team added Teddy Bridgewater via free agency and Sam Darnold via the draft; they released Bryce Petty earlier this offseason and have now dealt Hackenberg.
No matter how much new Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has praised Hackenberg in the past, it's unlikely this trade will turn into a positive for the Raiders or Hackenberg. He goes from one muddied QB depth chart to the next, where he'll likely begin his new Raiders journey as the team's fourth-string quarterback behind Derek Carr, E.J. Manuel, and Connor Cook.
Harris will miss the first game of the season, so it's not a huge blow to any fantasy owners scooping up Travis Kelce's backup in best-ball leagues or who own shares of him in dynasty leagues.
Shepard hasn't been much of an offensive weapon during his five-year career, with 2016 being his best season as a pro (40 targets, 23 receptions, 341 yards, 2 TDs), and it's unlikely he'll be much of a factor as a Giant. The Giants already have Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram as their main target hogs. Shepard, if he isn't released before the season starts, will be nothing more than a depth chart body/special teams player. You can avoid him for fantasy purposes.
Whittaker only touched the ball a total of 12 times last season (five carries, seven receptions). The previous season he played a more active role, especially in the passing game, catching 25 passes (most by a Panthers RB).
The Panthers recently signed C.J. Anderson, and still have Christian McCaffrey and Cameron Artis-Payne, so they are covered at the position. Look for Artis-Payne to see a bump in playing time, especially on third downs. Unless the team signs a more proven third-down back.
Tion Green had a couple of moments in 2017, mainly in Week 13 when he rushed for 51 yards and scored a touchdown. However, Green wasn't likely to make much of an impact in Detroit this season, with Kerryon Johnson, Theo Riddick, LeGarrette Blount, Ameer Abdullah, and Dwayne Washington on the roster. It's still a crowded backfield in Detroit, but now there's one less body to worry about. Green can be considered a fantasy afterthought.
At times, Perkins was touted as a potential sleeper pick, but he never amounted to much as a fantasy back. With the additions of Saquon Barkley via the draft and Jonathan Stewart through free agency, there wasn't much room for Perkins on the depth chart. Unless he ends up in a situation where he's in line for a significant role, Perkins won't be a fantasy factor in 2018.
Nick Underhill of The Advocate tweeted that Saints running back Mark Ingram has been suspended for the first four games of the 2018 NFL season, "for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing drugs."
The Saints don't go on bye until Week 6, meaning Ingram will be eligible to return to game action in Week 5.
Obviously, this is a big blow to Ingram’s stock, but owners may be able to nab him as an RB3, weather the four-game suspension, and then get low-end RB1 numbers for the stretch run. Alvin Kamara gets a bump since he should see an increased workload in the first four weeks. The Saints will likely use another running back to keep Kamara’s touches under control.
The Carolina Panthers have added former Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson to the team. He will join a Panthers RB depth chart that currently features Christian McCaffrey, Fozzy Whittaker, and Cameron Artis-Payne.
McCaffrey had been dubbed a draft day winner because the Panthers didn't add a running back through the draft, but the addition of Anderson will surely cut into his workload. Look for McCaffrey and Anderson to form a 1-2 punch ala McCaffrey and Jonathan Stewart of last season, who combined for 315 carries, 1,115 rushing yards, and eight rushing touchdowns. Stewart led in all three categories, while McCaffrey led the position in catches (80), receiving yards (651), and receiving touchdowns (5). Anderson's career-high in receptions is 34. McCaffrey will be the back to own in PPR leagues, while Anderson could turn into a solid RB2/RB3 option in standard leagues.
During his two-year stint in New Orleans, Fleener caught a combined 72 receptions for 926 yards and five touchdowns. The Saints will be fine without him, as they brought back Ben Watson (who caught 74 passes for 825 yards and six scores as a Saint in 2015) and still have Josh Hill rostered.
Cliff Avril is no longer a Seattle Seahawk after the team released the veteran defensive end with a failed physical designation. In five seasons with the Seahawks, he recorded 35 sacks and forced 14 fumbles. The recently turned 32-year-old suffered a season-ending neck injury in 2017, so it might be a while until a team signs him.
After spending the first four seasons of his career in Pittsburgh, Wheaton took a one-year sabbatical from The Keystone Stone and played for Chicago last season. This seems like nothing more than a depth chart signing, so we aren't all that eager in considering Wheaton a fantasy option this season.
It was revealed today by GM Chris Ballard that RB Marlon Mack played with a torn labrum during the entirety of his rookie campaign, and that he is currently recovering from offseason surgery. There was no timetable provided as to when the surgery took place, but Ballard believes Mack will be ready by the time training camp starts.
The running back depth chart in Indianapolis is thin with proven commodities, with Robert Turbin as Mack's main backup. That puts a bit of a spotlight on fourth-round pick Nyheim Hines. Hines ran a 4.38 at the Combine, and broke out during his junior campaign at North Carolina State, rushing for 1,113 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was also involved in the passing game, catching 89 career passes. At this point, we know Turbin doesn't possess much upside, so if it appears that Mack is slow to recover, you might want to consider Hines as a late-round fantasy option when draft season rolls around.
Following the offseason departure of LeGarrette Blount to Detroit, the Eagles' RB depth chart consisted of Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, Wendall Smallwood, and Donnel Pumphrey. They did not add a back during the draft, which bodes well for Sproles to earn significant playing time—likely in his regular pass-catching specialist role.
From 2014 to 2016, Sproles has averaged 72 targets and 49 receptions as an Eagle.
Austin was phased out of the Rams' offense last year, catching only 13 passes (on 22 targets) for 56 yards and zero touchdowns. The offseason acquisition of Brandin Cooks added to an already crowded Rams WRs corps, making Austin expendable. He now goes to a Cowboys team in need of pass-catchers, but he will likely be nothing more than the third or fourth option in the passing game.
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