Kyle Shanahan on #49ers RB Jerick McKinnon:
"We think he's a great third-down back. We also think he's good on first and second down, too."
Shanahan and the 49ers preferred McKinnon to Carlos Hyde, who signed with the Browns for significantly less money. McKinnon is a ridiculous athlete whose best comparable at Player Profiler is LaDainian Tomlinson. In his first two seasons he averaged 4.90 yards per carry, but that average has dipped to a concerning 3.59 yards per carry over the last two seasons. The good news: he graded well in the running game at Pro Football Focus in 2017 and, more importantly, as Shanahan's hand-picked running back, he'll get every chance to succeed as the 49ers primary runner. NBC’s Matt Maiocco believes that McKinnon “is expected to take [Devonta] Freeman’s role” in the offense. In 24 games from 2015-16 (with Shanahan running the offense) with both Freeman and Tevin Coleman healthy and available, Freeman averaged 15.0 rushing attempts and 4.3 receptions per game. If McKinnon gets that sort of workload, he’s a fantasy RB1.
Mainly used as Minnesota's No. 3 receiver, Wright will likely fill a similar role in Carolina. He will be reunited with his former Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner. His best season as a pro came in 2014, when he caught 42 passes for 588 yards.
The Minnesota Vikings are beefing up the interior of their defensive line by signing DT Sheldon Richardson to a one-year deal. Richardson was considered one of the top defensive free agents, and the Vikings may have well added the top free agents on both sides of the ball (Kirk Cousins being the other). After recording eight sacks in 2014, Richardson has totaled 8.5 the last three seasons.
The Vikings needed a backup QB, and the Broncos had a surplus of them after signing Case Keenum, so a deal has been worked out between the two teams to send Trevor Siemian and a 2018 late-round pick to Minnesota in exchange for a draft pick in 2019.
The former seventh-round pick, Siemian seems to have already exceeded expectations after being a starting QB in Denver. He will now become Kirk Cousins' backup in Minnesota.
Is McKinnon to the 49ers a match-made in fantasy heaven? McKinnon has been a trendy fantasy sleeper thanks to his athleticism, and now it looks like he will finally get a chance to land the No. 1 RB role on a team.
Despite starting only one game, McKinnon was the No. 17 scoring fantasy back in PPR leagues last season, thanks to a receiving line of 51 catches for 421 yards and two touchdowns. 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo will be a big beneficiary of this signing.
The Jets re-signed Josh McCown earlier today to a one-year deal worth $10 million, and it was later reported he would be the team's starting QB in 2018. They will also add Teddy Bridgewater to their QB depth chart.
Bridgewater has only made one appearance the last two seasons (two pass attempts) after suffering a brutal knee injury. If the McCown news is to be believed, Bridgewater will compete for the No. 2 QB spot. The Jets also own the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and could take one of the top QB prospects. The Jets' offseason QB battle will be a storyline to follow.
If the Jets don't sign Teddy Bridgewater or draft a rookie early in the 2018 NFL Draft to challenge McCown for the starting job then he could make for an appealing late-round QB2 in 2QB or Superflex leagues. Last season, McCown finished as the No. 20 fantasy scoring QB and put up over 200 fantasy points as a Jet.
Another team with a need at quarterback has made a move, this time it's the Arizona Cardinals, who plan on bringing in Sam Bradford. According to Adam Schefter, the deal is for one year at a rate of $20 million, with $15 million guaranteed.
Following the retirement of Carson Palmer, and Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert both free agents, the Cardinals literally had zero depth at quarterback. They had been rumored to Mike Glennon earlier in the day, but instead opted to go with Bradford.
Injuries have played a big role in Bradford's career, last season being no exception, as he appeared in only two games. However, it looked like 2017 was going to be a promising one for Bradford, having thrown for 346 yards and three touchdowns in his season debut. It's that type of tantalizing performance that continues to net him opportunities.
According to Adam Schefter, Kirk Cousins plans to sign with the Minnesota Vikings for three years (fully guaranteed). The terms of the deal have not been released yet, but some reports suggested it could be for up to $28 million per season.
Once the Cousins to Minnesota train got rolling it was full steam ahead. Cousins has been a perennial top-10 fantasy QB since taking over full-time in Washington, and he finished last season as the No. 5 scoring fantasy QB. Now he gets to play in an offense with playmakers at each position: Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen at WR, Kyle Rudolph at TE, and Dalvin Cook at RB.
Cousins should continue to put up impressive fantasy numbers and will be a solid QB to target in fantasy drafts.
Adam Schefter is pulling a late-night shift in the NFL breaking news department. First, he broke the news that QB Case Keenum plans to sign with the Denver Broncos, and now he's reporting that WR Allen Robinson will become a Chicago Bear as soon as free agency opens.
The Bears clearly need a No. 1 WR, and Robinson fits the bill. He only played in one game last season, but he's not that far removed from a breakout career season in 2015, when he caught 80 passes for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Kendall Wright led the Bears last season with 59 catches for 614 yards. No Bears receiver caught more than one touchdown last season. A healthy Robinson should quickly become a favorite target of Mitch Trubisky.
As Schefter mentioned in his tweet, Keenum signing with Denver would be the first quarterback shoe to drop. Keenum rejuvenated his career in Minnesota last year, where he finished as the fantasy QB14 (in 15 games).
Keenum set career-highs in completions (325), attempts (481), completion percentage (67.6%), passing yards (3,547), and passing touchdowns (22). He will be an upgrade over what Denver trotted out at QB last year in Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, and Paxton Lynch. Keenum reunites with Broncos senior personnel advisor (and former head coach) Gary Kubiak, who coached him in Houston for two seasons.
Shurmur has a strong history of working with and developing quarterbacks. He succeeds Ben McAdoo, who was fired last month with four games remaining in a 3-13 season.
Shurmur has nine years of experience as a head coach or offensive coordinator. His offenses have finished in the top 12 in four of the last five seasons, although that includes two-plus seasons under Chip Kelly. Most recently, he turned the Vikings' offense around. Minnesota finished 11th in total yards in 2017 after finishing 28th the year before.
Sunday, January 21, 2018, 5:34pm
Friday, January 19, 2018, 6:07pm
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