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Free agent running back Ezekiel Elliott was released by the Cowboys on March 15th and hasn't found a new home just yet. However, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said he expects the former rushing champion to sign with a team around the start of training camp in mid-July. The Cowboys have given indications that he could be back with a team on a reduced salary, which would make sense given the lack of depth behind Tony Pollard. For now, Malik Davis and Ronald Jones are the top two back behind the breakout running back from last season. If Elliott signs back with Dallas, he'll likely have a reduced role and have low-end flex appeal in fantasy football. Ultimately, he's no longer in the RB1 discussion no matter where he signs at this point in his career.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (toe) was spotted at practice during Tuesday's organized team activities, which is a great sign for his early-season availability. Head coach Dennis Allen declined to give a timetable for Thomas' return to full action. Thomas has played in just eight of the Saints' last 50 regular season contests while dealing with lower-body ailments, so it remains to be seen if he can put it all behind him and stay healthy for a large chunk of the 2023 season. Thomas caught 16 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns in just three games last season before a foot injury placed him on season-ending Injured Reserve. He will begin the season as the likely No. 2 wide receiver behind Chris Olave, and quarterback Derek Carr should be able to support multiple fantasy wideouts. Thomas is a late-round pick in fantasy drafts with upside, but obviously he's one of the riskiest players because of his recent injury history.
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was a full participant in OTAs Tuesday -- which is an incredible development after his scary injury last season in Week 17 on Monday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest, causing him to spend a week in the hospital and miss the remainder of the 2022 season. Thankfully, he is fine and is back on the practice field. Obviously, teams don't suit up and hit during OTAs and it remains to be seen what his timetable could be for returning to live game action.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence is enjoying the first normal offseason of his young career. Lawrence has had to get to a know a new head coach the last two seasons while learning a new offensive system, but this year he can just focus on fine-tuning his fundamentals. The Jaguars finished Lawrence's second NFL season with an offense ranked 10th in scoring and points. "Not having that stress of just learning the playbook, I can just really focus on my game and my mechanics," Lawrence said. Over Weeks 9 to 18, the 23-year-old ranked second in completion percentage and passer rating and threw 15 TDs and only two picks. After his impressive 2022 campaign, Lawrence's fantasy needle is pointing firmly upwards as a midrange QB1 in fantasy.
The New York Jets have decided not to hold their mandatory minicamp next week, according to a source. Head coach Robert Saleh attributed the decision to skip the practices to the team's accelerated training camp schedule. The Jets will begin that stage of offseason work a week earlier than most teams as they prepare for the Hall of Fame game against the Browns on Aug. 3. The Jets are currently in the middle of their final week of organized team activities as part of Phase 3 of the offseason. The Philadelphia Eagles are currently the only other team not scheduled to have a mandatory minicamp this offseason. It's notable for the Jets as they prepare for the first season with quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh said that quarterback Aaron Rodgers (calf) won't be doing 11-on-11 drills at organized team activities on Tuesday, but he'll do everything else. Rodgers suffered a minor calf strain at the beginning of OTAs, and while it's really nothing to worry about, the Jets aren't taking any chances with the 39-year-old future Hall of Famer at this point in the offseason. It would be nice for Rodgers to be on the field developing chemistry with his new teammates in New York, but there's still mandatory minicamps and training camp for that. Rodgers considered retirement in the offseason before being traded to the Jets, and he'll be looking to bounce back after one of the worst seasons of his career in 2022. He has all the weapons in place to turn things around, but Rodgers is best drafted as a high-end QB2 in fantasy.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy (elbow) was taking part in organized team activities on Monday. All signs point to McCoy, who is back after dealing with an elbow injury last year that lingered into the offseason, getting a sizeable workload this year with Kyler Murray (knee) not expected to be ready for the start of the season. "For me, my No. 1 priority is learning the system," McCoy said. The veteran signal-caller went 3-3 while completing 71% of his passes for 1,520 yards, four TDs and four interceptions in six games in place of the injured Murray in his first two years in the desert. Arizona also has David Blough and Jeff Driskel at the position, but McCoy has the most experience and is expected to start in Week 1 this fall.
Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said that he still considers it to be a competition this offseason between quarterbacks Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett. However, Howell has taken all of the first-team repetitions so far this offseason. While the team continues to say it's an open competition, all signs point to the starting job being Howell's to lose this summer at training camp. The 30-year-old Brissett filled in admirably in Cleveland in 2022 while Deshaun Watson was suspended, but the Commanders would rather give the younger Howell a chance to prove himself in 2023. But if Howell begins the season as the starter and struggles, Washington could absolutely move to Brissett at some point. Neither QB is anything more than a weak QB2 option in superflex leagues.
Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said that defensive end Chase Young (knee) "absolutely" remains a starter heading into the 2023 season. Rivera is also confident that Young's knee is healthy, but "the proof will be in the pudding." The Commanders decided to decline the 24-year-old pass-rusher's fifth-year option after he was limited to just three games in 2022. The former second overall pick in 2020 was a Pro Bowler in his rookie campaign when he had 7.5 sacks, but he's played in just 12 games since then and will need to prove himself all over again to both the Commanders and fantasy managers in IDP leagues.
Dynasty | Matt Maiocco suggests Brock Purdy will be the starter in 2023 if healthy Dynasty Analysis: Purdy has graduated in his rehab to throwing a football and Maiocco says that the real indication is the "tone of voice" used by head coach Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch when speaking about the situation. While hardly substantive to the overall situation, by all reports, Purdy is the leader in the clubhouse, has the confidence of the coaching staff, and coming off seven regular-season victories after being pressed into duty as a rookie, the only thing standing in his way toward being under center to start 2023 is the health of his elbow. At this juncture, everything seems to be trending toward Purdy being the starter in 2023 with an opportunity to pick up where he left off in 2022. He's listed as DLF's QB28 and has been percolating higher in recent weeks.
Dynasty | 49ers receivers coach Leonard Hankerson said second-year receiver Danny Gray has work ethic and continues to develop. Dynasty Analysis: Gray was a popular sleeper selection as a rookie in 2022 but only saw 87 snaps and a single reception in 2022. Hankerson referenced both Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel as two other receivers who struggled to pick up the team's difficult receiver playbook before producing. With an established work ethic, Gray now needs to be "consistent" with his effort, and Hankerson noted he's made "tremendous strides" in his growth over his rookie season. Gray will compete with rookie Ronnie Bell as the team's WR4 though could have WR3 upside should current starter Jauan Jennings falter. Danny Gray remains on the fringes of the dynasty radar, appearing as a sparsely ranked WR117.
Dynasty | Speaking about Christian McCaffrey, 49ers running back coach Anthony Lynn said he believes the veteran will be even more dynamic in 2023. Dynasty Analysis: Lynn said McCaffrey wasn't familiar with the system following his trade to the team and he's looking fast and "game-ready" in OTAs. Turning 27 on June 7, McCaffrey erased all doubts about his health when he rushed for 1,139 yards and eight touchdowns while splitting time with the Panthers and 49ers, while also reeling in a total of 85 receptions and another five touchdowns. More importantly, he appeared in all 17 games. The biggest question surrounding the aging star surrounds his touch count when considering the role of oft-injured Elijah Mitchell, who has shown capability when healthy. Over his last four games in the 2022 regular season, McCaffrey rushed 70 times for 321 yards and three touchdowns and produced 17 receptions for another touchdown. His average of 17 rushes per game were greater than Mitchell's nearly-ten per game over that same stretch. Clearly, there remains a strong potential for a significant committee between both backs, but McCaffrey's dynamic as both a runner and a receiver should keep him as the easy choice as the lead back. Christian McCaffrey is found as DLF's RB4.
Dynasty | Rachaad White said he expects to see "a lot of balls" as a receiver Dynasty Analysis: In his rookie season, White was somewhat uninspiring as a runner, amassing 481 yards and a single touchdown across 129 attempts, good for 3.7 ypc. But as a receiver, the rookie showed significant ability by producing 290 yards and two touchdowns on 50 receptions. It stands to reason the Bucs will continue to lean on the sophomore as a receiver. The bigger question surrounds what the team will do on early-down snaps with only Chase Edmonds, Ke'Shawn Vaughn, and rookie Sean Tucker behind him on the depth chart. Edmonds has been unable to parlay recent roles into upside production which could mean the Bucs will give White another chance to carry the load. Or, the team could consider a free-agent veteran. In either case, Rachaad White appears to possess value-on potential in 2023 as DLF's RB26.
The Buffalo Bills made a splash during the 2022 offseason by signing Von Miller to a massive six-year, $120 million deal. Miller made a great first impression in Buffalo, totaling eight sacks, 12 quarterback hits, and 21 tackles (10 for loss) in his first 11 games with the team.His defensive presence was massive for a playoff team hoping to get to the Super Bowl. But the veteran, unfortunately, suffered a torn ACL in Week 12, which ended his first season in Buffalo early.What's the outlook on Miller now? Will he be ready for Week 1? Let's dive in. Is Von Miller Injured or Healthy?Miller is almost seven months removed from the ACL tear he suffered on November 24, 2022. Of course, he is not present at the Bills' OTAs to begin the offseason as he works his way back from injury.https://twitter.com/agetzenberg/status/1663599191828963328?s=20The recovery time for a torn ACL varies depending on the player, but most should be out for eight to 12 months. So, Miller will enter that timeline at the end of July, right around when Training Camp begins. There's a shot the 34-year-old pass rusher participates and does light work during camp.This was the second ACL tear for Miller in his career (both in the same right knee). He also tore his ACL during the 2013 season in Week 16 but found himself playing just nine months later in Week 1 at 100%.Will history repeat itself? Will Von Miller be ready by Week 1?When the Bills open the season against the Jets on Monday Night Football, Miller will be 9 1/2 months removed from his ACL injury. That gives the defensive star a hopeful chance to suit in Week 1.Miller also expects to return in Week 1 on Monday night:"You know I love guarantees," Miller told Channel 9NEWS in Denver. "It's me. It's Von. I love guarantees. I want to play. In 2013, I had [ACL] surgery in January, and I played at the beginning of August in the preseason. So that put me around seven months, eight months."And 10 years removed from that, 2023, I have a whole new outlook. I know exactly where I'm supposed to be at two months, four months, six months, and in the position where I'm at now. I feel great, I feel comfortable. I feel like I'll be ready to go at the start of the season."It's encouraging to see Miller so optimistic in June about his availability in September. There's no guarantee the 12-year NFL vet will be ready for Week 1, but there's a good chance he returns within the first four weeks of the season.
The Los Angeles Chargers remain in talks with Justin Herbert to extend the 25-year-old's contract. Herbert, the No. 6 overall draft pick in 2020, has two years left after the Chargers exercised his fifth-year option earlier this year. Last season, he suffered a cartilage fracture in Week 2 and a torn labrum in his left shoulder in Week 17, and the Chargers' top two wide receivers also missed multiple games with injuries. While Herbert completed 68.2% of his passes, a career-high, and threw interceptions at his lowest ever rate, his touchdown pass total and yard per attempt figure fell to their lowest levels yet. Now with new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore coming in, there is hope that Herbert can get back to the high-end of play he was showing for much of 2021.
The Dallas Cowboys are negotiating with star cornerback Trevon Diggs, in the last year of his rookie deal, on an extension that could be close to $20 million a year. Diggs will make $4.3 million this year. He ranks as a top-ten cornerback, according to PFF, and he has many years ahead of him. The 24-year-old has leads all cornerbacks with 17 interceptions over the past three seasons, including two that he returned for touchdowns. He has also made double-digit pass defenses and over 40 solo tackles every season, making him a quality starting DB in IDP fantasy football leagues and an essential asset for the Cowboys' defense that increases the value of their DST in fantasy football.
Indianapolis Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers Sr. is under investigation for possible violations of the league's gambling policy, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Rodgers was drafted by the Colts in the sixth round (211th overall) in 2020 out of Massachusetts. The 25-year-old has played 1,500-plus snaps in three NFL seasons and started nine games last year for the Colts. He has returned 71 punt/kickoff returns in the last three years, as well as recording 90 tackles (68 solo), three interceptions, 10 passes defensed, a forced fumble and four fumble recoveries. If Rodgers is found guilty of gambling, he could be suspended for up to the entire 2023 campaign.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has not ruled out a return for free-agent running back Ezekiel Elliott. Both Elliott and the Cowboys are evaluating their respective futures, according to Jones. Dallas released Elliott in March after seven seasons with the team, including four 1,000-yard campaigns. It would make sense if Zeke returned, as Tony Pollard (ankle, leg) is returning from a serious injury, and the trio of Malik Davis, rookie Deuce Vaughn and Ronald Jones doesn't have a ton of experience or upside. The tread on Elliott's tires is running thin at this point in his career, but he proved in 2022 that he can be an effective short-yardage/goal-line back, carrying the ball 231 times for 876 yards and 12 touchdowns in 15 games (14 starts). The 27-year-old back is unlikely to be much more than a TD-dependent RB4/flex in fantasy no matter where he lands.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Rachaad White said on Sirius XM NFL Radio on Monday that he expects a lot of passes to come his way in the passing game this season. Although Chase Edmonds and Ke'Shawn Vaughn will also have roles in Tampa's backfield in 2023, White entered the offseason as the clear leader for touches with Leonard Fournette no longer on the team. The Bucs offense certainly won't be as intriguing with either Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask taking over under center for the retired Tom Brady, but White's role increase can't be overlooked in fantasy. The former third-rounder had 129 carries for 481 yards and a score and added 50 receptions for 290 yards and two more TDs in 17 games (eight starts) in his rookie season last year. White's fantasy stock is definitely on the rise. Consider him on the RB2/3 borderline in fantasy drafts.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (shoulder) said the plan is for him to work back into 7-on-7 drills this week at organized team activities. It would be his first team drills of the offseason after rehabbing from labrum surgery that he had in January on his left, non-throwing shoulder. The 25-year-old has already resumed throwing as well, but the Chargers are understandably going to take it slow with their franchise signal-caller in the offseason. He should be fully healthy for training camp and the start of the 2023 season, where he'll be looking to bounce back as a midrange QB1 for fantasy managers after a disappointing 2022 campaign in which he battled through a rib injury. Herbert's top-two receivers, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, also missed time with injuries.
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