Recent NFL Player News

Jacksonville's Leonard Fournette expects to have a role in 2019 passing game

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette expects to have an opportunity to catch passes in 2019 according to quarterback Nick Foles.

What It Means:

"That’s a threat. If you ask any defender, when a running back can go out of the backfield and not only run the ball and protect, but he can receive, that’s really tough on a defense," said Foles to the media.

On 74 targets in Fournette's career, the Jaguars' back has produced 58 receptions for 487 yards and two touchdowns. If he can stay healthy, look for Fournette to produce workhorse or RB1 fantasy numbers.

Rams will extend Jared Goff, coach says

Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay said there is a "zero percent chance" the team does not extend quarterback Jared Goff's contract.

What It Means:

'Whether it ends up happening this year or next year, there is a zero pct. chance this guy's not gonna get an extension he's worthy of," McVay told Mike Silver. Goff threw for 4,688 yards and 32 touchdowns with 12 interceptions and averaged 7.5 net yards per dropback. His play did decline somewhat down the stretch, as only completed 58.9% of his throws with 6 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in five December starts.

Our models project Goff to throw for 4,765.40 yards with 32.47 touchdowns and 11.34 interceptions in 2019.

Theo Riddick could be on the Lions' roster bubble

Detroit Lions running back Theo Riddick could be on the roster bubble, per the Detroit Free Press.

What It Means:

Riddick is on the final year of his contract and his release would produce $3.7 million in cap savings. He was targeted 71 times last season, which was second on the team, but only managed 370 receiving yards on 57 catches.

Our models project Riddick to rush for 174.9 yards on 45.26 carries, while catching 51.07 passes for 358.66 yards.

Lions' Kerryon Johnson could catch 60 passes, writer pedicts

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press predicts that Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson will catch at least 60 passes this season.

What It Means:

Birkett said that Johnson has impressed as a receiver in offseason practice and says that primary receiving back Theo Riddick is not a lock to make the roster. This would open up opportunities in the passing game for Johnson, who caught 32 passes in 10 games as a rookie last season. Johnson had an 11% target share, compared to Riddick's 14%.

Our numbers are not as bullish, but our models do project Johnson to catch 40.76 passes this season for 291.65. He is also projected to rush for 1,038.06 yards and 5.3 touchdowns on 215.31 attempts.

James Conner expects Steelers to spread out backfield work

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner expects the offense to "spread out" backfield touches "pretty evenly."

What It Means:

Conner handled monster workloads when health allowed last year, but injuries and the late-season emergence of Jaylen Samuels may lead to more of a two-way split in 2019. The Steelers reportedly experimented with two-back formations in OTAs.

numberFire's models believe Conner will record 1,039.3 rushing yards, 498.0 receiving yards, and 10.76 touchdowns next season. He's the RB9 in our preseason fantasy rankings.

DK Metcalf shining for Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks second-round wide receiver DK Metcalf is "looking really, really special," quarterback Russell Wilson said.

What It Means:

"He can do anything and everything and he’s tremendous," Wilson added. Doug Baldwin's retirement should allow the rookie to make an immediate impact. The Seahawks gave up the 77th and 118th picks to move up and select Metcalf at the end of the second round.

numberFire's models expect Metcalf to catch 43.7 passes on 66.8 targets for 576.6 yards and 3.05 touchdowns in 2019. He's currently the WR69 in our preseason fantasy rankings.

Travis Kelce (ankle) expects to be at full strength by Chiefs camp

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (ankle) expects to be 100 percent by training camp.

What It Means:

Kelce sat out minicamp after undergoing a cleanup ankle procedure earlier this offseason. "I want to get out there and mesh with everyone and teach, have fun and get better," Kelce said. "But right now, just getting healthy is the main thing, and I think we’re there. I think by the time training camp comes around, I’ll be 100 percent." The 29-year-old set career-bests across the board last season.

Kelce is the top tight end in numberFire's preseason fantasy rankings. Our models expect him to turn 137.2 targets into 101.9 catches, 1,296.8 yards, and 10.96 touchdowns in 2019.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling 'probably' Packers' second wideout

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling "probably is the number-two receiver," writes ESPN's Rob Demovsky.

What It Means:

Demovsky believes Valdes-Scantling will start opposite Davante Adams, with Geronimo Allison working in three-wide sets. This comes a week after Aaron Rodgers said the sophomore "had a fantastic spring," so everything seems to be pointing up for the 24-year-old receiver.

numberFire's models expect MVS to catch 31.7 passes on 57.4 targets for 471.4 yards and 2.95 touchdowns in 2019. He's currently the WR79 in our preseason fantasy rankings.

Jaguars' Marqise Lee not expected to be ready for camp

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone does not expect wide receiver Marqise Lee (knee) to be ready for the start of camp.

What It Means:

Lee is recovering from a preseason injury that caused him to miss the entire 2018 season. If he is healthy this year, he could be the team's number one wide receiver.

Lee caught 56 of 96 targets for 702 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2017.

Patriots acquire Michael Roberts from lions

The New England Patriots acquired tight end Michael Roberts from the Detroit Lions in exchange for a future, late-round pick.

What It Means:

Roberts was a fourth-round pick in 2017 but failed to make much of an impact in Detroit. He played only eight games last season before landing on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. The 25-year-old could compete with Matt LaCosse for snaps while Benjamin Watson serves his four-game suspension for PEDs.

Roberts has 13 career receptions (27 targets) for 146 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Patriots' Sony Michel reportedly sidelined due to knee scope

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel had a knee scope this offseason, reports Jeff Howe of The Athletic.

What It Means:

The procedure explains why Michel missed the final portion of the Patriots' offseason program, but he's expected to be ready for the start of training camp.

numberFire's models believe Michel will rush for 1,155.8 yards and 9.01 touchdowns next season. He's the RB17 in our preseason fantasy rankings.

Source: Jeff Howe

Giants won't rule out Daniel Jones starting in Week 1

New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur would not rule out rookie quarterback Daniel Jones starting in Week 1.

What It Means:

When asked if there was a scenario that Jones could start the season opener, Shurmur told reporters " You never know what is going to happen." While it appears to be a longshot for Eli Manning not to be under center in Week 1, the coaching staff's confidence in Jones is promising for the sixth-overall pick to see a good amount of starts in his rookie season.

Our models project Jones for just 398.6 yards, 2.3 touchdowns, and 1.7 interceptions on 57.9 pass attempts in 2019.

Damien Harris could earn 'prominent role' with Patriots

New England Patriots rookie running back Damien Harris could earn a "prominent role" in the offense, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic.

What It Means:

Howe reported that the third-round pick out of Alabama has had a strong spring while Sony Michel has sat out with undisclosed injuries. While Michel is likely to handle the bulk of the early down work, Harris is in position to shine if Michel gets hurt.

Our models project Harris for 99 total touches, 470.8 yards, and 3.5 touchdowns in 2019.

Rams' Todd Gurley downplays knee issues

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley said he was not overly concerned about his knee issues.

What It Means:

"I had bigger problems to worry about coming out of college," Gurley said, referring to his past torn ACL. "This is small." Small or not, the fact that Gurley continues to be plagued by knee problems remains a concern. He turns 25 in August.

numberFire's models believe Gurley will record 946.9 rushing yards, 416.6 receiving yards, and 10.85 touchdowns in 2019. He's slid to the RB13 in our preseason fantasy rankings.

Carolina's Cam Newton (shoulder) will participate in drills on Tuesday

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (shoulder) has been cleared to throw in drills during minicamp.

What It Means:

Newton continues to take steps in his rehab and is on track to participate in training camp. The 30-year old quarterback will look to bounce in 2019 after dealing with a shoulder injury last season.

Our models project Newton for 329.8 completions, 26.8 touchdowns, and 3,857.7 yards this season.

Source: Max Henson

Lions reportedly sign receiver Jermaine Kearse to a one-year deal on Thursday

The Detroit Lions have reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with wide receiver Jermaine Kearse.

What It Means:

Kearse will join the Lions and backup Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola. Look for the veteran to see playing time if one of the top three wideouts goes down with an injury.

In 14 games last season, Kearse produced 37 receptions for 371 yards and 1 touchdown.

Vikings' Jordan Taylor working as third receiver

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Taylor has been working as the team's third wideout in spring practices.

What It Means:

Arif Hassan of The Athletic views Taylor and seventh-round rookie Dillon Mitchell as the best "fits" for the number-three gig. The Vikings lack any proven depth behind Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, so Taylor should have a solid shot at securing the job. The 27-year-old signed with Minnesota in April after spending his first four seasons in the league with the Denver Broncos.

numberFire's models project Taylor for 20.9 targets, 15.0 receptions, 131.9 yards, and 1.00 touchdowns in 2019.

Buccaneers' sixth-rounder Scotty Miller receiving praise

Tampa Bay Buccaneers sixth-round WR Scotty Miller has been making plays all over the field every practice, head coach Bruce Arians said.

What It Means:

Miller also received praise from quarterback Jameis Winston while Scott Smith of the Bucs' official website tweeted that the rookie has been "very quick and fast" during padless practice. He could potentially replace Adam Humphries in three-wide sets for Tampa Bay in 2019.

Miller hauled in at least 60 catches in each of his last three seasons at Bowling Green and surpassed 1,100 receiving yards in 2018.

Matt LaCosse in line to be Patriots' starting tight end

New England Patriots tight end Matt LaCosse is in line to be the starting tight end for Week 1 of the 2019 season.

What It Means:

After the Patriots released Austin Seferian-Jenkins on Tuesday, LaCosse is next in line to replace Ben Watson who is serving a four-game suspension to start the season. The Patriots have a hole at tight end following the retirement of Rob Gronkowski this offseason.

LaCosse caught 24 passes for 250 yards and 1 touchdown on 37 targets for the Denver Broncos in 2018.

Patriots' rookie N'Keal Harry seeing 'lot of work' with starters

New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry "got a lot of work with the starters" on the first day of minicamp, reports Jeff Howe of The Athletic.

What It Means:

The Patriots typically don't give rookies starting reps this early in the offseason, but there isn't a lot of competition on the depth chart for the first-round pick. He's the first wide receiver New England has selected in the first round during Bill Belichick and Tom Brady's tenure in New England.

Harry is the WR41 in numberFire's preseason fantasy rankings. numberFire's models project him for 84.7 targets, 50.3 receptions, 711.8 yards, and 5.34 touchdowns in 2019.

Rapoport: Todd Gurley unlikely to be Rams' bell cow moving forward

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley's days as a "straight-up, every-down bell cow are probably over," said Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

What It Means:

"Just based on his knee, his age, the position, the amount of carries he's had," Rapoport continued. "It's probably not going to be like that, which by the way is maybe why the Rams drafted a running back in the third round, someone they really like a lot. This is a team that is clearly ready to spread the ball around." The back in reference is Darrell Henderson. He could become a viable fantasy option if Gurley continues to have problems with his knee.

numberFire's models believe Gurley will record 996.7 rushing yards, 443.0 receiving yards, and 11.54 total touchdowns in 2019. He's the RB10 in our preseason fantasy rankings.

Source: NFL.com

Titans' A.J. Brown expected to play on the outside this season

Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown will likely to see playing time on the outside position during his rookie year.

What It Means:

With Adam Humphries in the slot, Brown is expected to see snaps on the outside opposite of Corey Davis. Our models project Brown to see 67.67 targets this season.

Brown's projections this year include 44.6 receptions for 508.2 receiving yards and 2.7 touchdowns.

Titans' Delanie Walker (ankle) participating in 7-on-7 this week

Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker has been cleared for 7-on-7 drills.

What It Means:

Walker has been participating in both individual and teams drills after suffering a season-ending ankle injury last year. Look for the veteran tight end to be ready for the season opener and share reps with Jonnu Smith.

Our models project Walker to produce 44.9 receptions for 477.24 yards and 3.77 touchdowns this season.

Rams' Todd Gurley (knee) not expected to play in the preseason

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (knee) is considered doubtful to play in the preseason by general manager Les Snead.

What It Means:

No surprise here as Gurley has absorbed large workloads the last two seasons and ended the 2018 campaign dealing with a knee issue. The Rams hope the back will be fresh for the entirety of the 2019 season. Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson will see plenty of reps during the preseason.

Our models project Gurley for 1,049.1 rushing yards, 443.0 receiving yards, and 12.3 total touchdowns in 2019.

Chiefs insist Damien Williams is the team's starting running back

Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams has been declared the starting running back by offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

What It Means:

There was some concern Williams would lose his role or split time with Carlos Hyde this upcoming season, but it appears the 27-year-old running back has earned the coaching staff's confidence following his hot finish to the 2018 season. Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams will compete with Hyde for the backup role behind Williams in 2019.

Our models project Wiliams for 256.9 touches, 1,374.7 total yards, and 12.2 touchdowns in 2019.

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