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Hope you guys like your takes spicy, because that’s what was on offer this week.
Here we gooo:
News & Notes:
Julio Jones has been traded to the Titans.
Todd Gurley is visiting the Ravens.
Broncos DB Kareem Jackson and former teammate of Deshaun Watson said Watson told him he "wants to be" in Denver.
Aaron Rodgers has officially skipped Packers’ first day of mandatory minicamp. James Jones: "I've talked to Aaron. He told me it's not about the GM... He's willing to go in there and make this thing right."
Calvin Ridley had “minor” foot surgery 2 weeks ago. Reportedly “not in danger” of missing the start of the season.
Ravens and restricted free-agent running back Gus Edwards reached agreement on a two-year, $10 million contract extension.
Not fantasy related, but too good not to share: There was a heart donor match for Greg Olson’s son who recently underwent a successful transplant surgery.
Analysis & Hype:
It was a Dynasty hype extravaganza on the internet this past week for Rams Rookie TE Jacob Harris. Which is conveniently a great way to plug our fun little Patreon Discord community which you can join here.
• “Jacob Harris is a guy that’s definitely stood out,” said Rams head coach Sean McVay, when asked about players who have flashed among this year’s rookie class. “Just his overall speed and athleticism, you kind of feel him on the field…”
• Jacob Harris showing off his athleticism.
• Jacob Harris scored a 9.88 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 31 out of 2517 WR from 1987 to 2021. (Jacob Harris is presumably a TE)
• Rams beat writer: “Alright yeah we are gonna have to keep an eye on Jacob Harris.”
• Harris is reportedly already getting reps with the 1st team.
• “LA Rams: Rookie Jacob Harris has limitless potential in this offense”
• There’s been discussion on Twitter that Jacob Harris’s PlayerProfiler stats are already eye-popping as it is, even though he’s categorized as a WR currently. If his stats were being comped to other TEs (which he’s widely expected to play) they’d be pretty intense.
• Older but juicy tidbits resurfacing on Twitter: “A great nugget from @dpbrugler’s draft guide is that some teams are viewing UCF’s Jacob Harris as a TE. That would unlock his dynasty stock. All-time ranking in my TE data Adjusted
-Forty: 1st (4.40)
-3-Cone: 1st (6.51)
-Vert: 5th (40.5)
“Laviska Shenault has staked a claim as the Jaguars' best skill player during OTAs -- he has been that impressive. Shenault made several big grabs last week and has looked explosive and dynamic as a route-runner all summer, but Tuesday was arguably his best practice yet. Even with the quarterbacks struggling, and with Lawrence not throwing many passes, Shenault continued to turn heads and make plays on Tuesday by catching every catchable target that came his way during team drills.”
"[Laviska] Shenault especially stood out. He caught everything thrown his way... he looked quick in and out of his breaks... Shenault has always looked like one of the most athletic players on the field due to his blend of size, power & explosiveness, this was again the case on Thursday."
Nate Burleson ranked Laviska Shenault #1 on his 2021 WR breakout list.
Jet’s beat writer on rookie WR Elijah Moore: “Moore will never be the most popular player at #Jets OTAs. Not with Zach Wilson under center. But through two weeks … he’s undeniably the most impressive.”
"It’s getting exhausting writing about [Elijah] Moore because what else is there to say? He’s making plays in the slot and split wide. He’s getting open deep and short. He’s virtually uncoverable near the goal line. Every day he does something else that makes you turn your head."
Chart that shows where every team ranks in fantasy points by running backs over the last two seasons.
You won’t see too many DJ Moore over AJ Brown takes for Dynasty these days, but here’s a well-thought-out thread on just that.
From the bye week last season, Falcons WR Russell Gage was on pace for 140 targets, 90 receptions, 1000 yards, and 8 touchdowns.
Since 2018, Robert Woods has:
• more receptions than Amari Cooper and Alvin Kamara
• more receiving yards than Adam Thielen and Allen Robinson
• more targets than Mike Evans and Michael Thomas
• higher catch % than Julio Jones and Tyreek Hill
Accuracy percentage on deep throws (20+ air yards) in 2020:
• No. 3 Ryan Tannehill - 49%
• No. 18 Matt Ryan - 39%
This is a Julio Jones stat.
Nearly all the top tight ends last year had one thing in common: They were in an offense without a reliable WR2.
Ravens OC Greg Roman on J.K. Dobbins: “I think he has got the skill set and the talent to really include him as a viable weapon in the passing game. That’s a big focus of what we’re doing right now,” And I’m just gonna leave this here.
“(The team was not nearly as high on quarterback Justin Fields coming out of the draft as it was Trey Lance, so when Lance went to San Francisco the pick before the Falcons’ pick, tight end Kyle Pitts was an easy call.)”
Since entering the league in 2018, Gus Edwards has gained yards on 89.1% of his 414 carries, the most of any player in the NFL in that time.
2020 WR leaders in targets per route run:
1. Davante Adams (.31)
2. Braxton Berrios (.29)
3. Antonio Brown (.27)
4. Keenan Allen (.27)
5. Diontae Johnson (.27)
6. Stefon Diggs (.27)
7. Michael Thomas (.26)
8. A.J. Brown (.25)
9. Allen Robinson (.25)
10. DeAndre Hopkins (.25)
Kyler Murray so far in his young career:
• Scored the 5th most fantasy points by a rookie QB in NFL history
• Finish 2nd among all QBs in fantasy points in his 2nd season
“Contrarian take: Matt Ryan doesn’t miss a beat w/o Julio Jones.
Kirk Cousins loses Diggs 3603 yds, 26TDs -> 4265yds,35TDs
Deshaun Watson loses Hopkins 3852 yds, 26TDs -> 4823yds, 33TDs
Ryan loses Julio 4581yds, 26TDs -> ??? Julio only had 771yds, 3TDs in 2020”
“Jordan Love just made his best throw of the offseason, dropping a pass to AJ Dillon over the shoulder... Nice catch by Dillon, too.” Matt LaFleur says AJ Dillon's receiving ability can be "deceptive" as a big RB: "It's rare that you see a guy that size able to catch the ball as fluidly and naturally as he can."
“Goff and Hockenson have a chemistry that you can literally see developing at practice. After a well-placed ball during positional drills, Goff held up a thumbs up toward Hockenson, seemingly asking, “Was that where you want that pass? ... When Hockenson noticed the thumbs up, he returned it with a thumbs up and a nod. No words needed to be exchanged.”
“While it’s an open competition, it’s hard not to imagine [Jameis] Winston winning it, especially since he’s already doing the right things in the offseason by having his teammates train with him.”
Interesting tidbit: Jalen Hurts has more 300+ passing yard games than Lamar Jackson. Hurts has started 4 games.
With Julio out, PFF projects Calvin Ridley to lead the NFL in receiving yards.
Some quick bullet points on why Mike Williams could be in for a career year.
Some wide receivers that helped or hurt by their 2021 strength of schedule.
Washington Football Team has big plans for 'ascending' Curtis Samuel.
“An easy way to describe Zach Wilson through the first two weeks of the #Jets’ OTAs: The rookie QB didn’t look like a rookie QB. You could say that Tuesday, too. Only it wouldn’t do his practice justice. Because Wilson looked good. Really, really good”
“In [Mostert] and Wilson’s absences, third-round pick Trey Sermon was the top running back, taking the bulk of the carries & also catching a swing pass out of the backfield...”
(Mostly Dynasty) Sleepers:
There’s been a steady drumbeat forming for Panthers TE Ian Thomas: “Panthers head coach Matt Rhule has brought up Thomas several times lately as a player who has progressed this offseason, giving him another chance to stake his claim to the job.” Rhule: "Ian has had a tremendous offseason… He looks explosive, he looks athletic; if you're talking about a guy that's had a great offseason, I'd say Ian Thomas."
“If you're looking for a deep, deep stash in dynasty startups, you could do worse than taking Sage Surratt with your final pick.
• ADP outside the top 100 WRs
• Comps well to Mohamed Sanu athletically
• 40% dominator rating in 2019
• Lions WR room is totally barren”
On Keelan Cole working in front of Denzel Mims: “He’s been working in front of him even after Mims came back from illness. Jets also extremely high on Cole. Tried trading for him in camp each of last two years. Jax wouldn’t part with him. Better scheme fit, too. Mims more linear player.”
“[Mac] Jones’ lack of arm strength is going to really stand out in the NFL”
Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman said the team has a "running group by committee." This could potentially be seen as Gus Edwards hype.
“Russell Wilson was quite bad over the 2nd half of last season… Over his final 8 games: * avged 209 passing yards and 1.5 TDs * 16th among 35 qualifiers in @PFF passing grade * 17th among QBs in fantasy points per game”
The Fun Stuff:
Nick Chubb, in what looks like the beginning of a massive deadlift, but he casually power cleans it.
I want to be friends with Davis Webb and Josh Allen.
“Damn that’s a strong WR 4 right there”
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s first day of year 17.
This game is called “Is it CMC or Mike Davis?” (video)
Matthew McConaughey reminds you to be alright about other people not liking the same players you do.
Move Jamaal Williams up your ranks.
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