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The Jacksonville Jaguars traded Riley Patterson to the Detroit Lions last week for a 2026 conditional seven-round draft pick. Patterson rejoins the Lions after kicking for them in 2021, hitting 13-of-14 field goals in seven games.He lost the starting job in Detroit the following season to Austin Seibert before landing with the Jaguars. He will now compete with Michael Badgley and John Parker Romo this offseason for the kicker spot in Detroit.Will he win the job? Is he a good fit with the Lions? Let's dive in. Will Riley Patterson Win the Starting Kicker Job?Patterson likely has the best shot to be the Lions' Week 1 kicker of the three kickers on the roster. Not only did Detroit trade a future draft pick for him, but the 23-year-old kicker has been a reliable kicker in his first two seasons. He's converted on 87.8% of his field goals (43-for-49) and 98.1% rate (52-for-53) on extra points in his career.Last season in Jacksonville, Patterson went 30-for-35 on field goals in the regular season and went 3-for-3 in the playoffs, including a game-winner against the Chargers in the Wild Card round.https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1614480033648906240?s=20Badgley, though, has a great shot to be the Lions' starting kicker as well. He appeared in 12 games for Detroit last season and went 20-for-24 on field goals and 33-for-33 on extra points. In his career, Money Badger is 59-for-94 (81.7%) on field goal attempts. Romo, on the other hand, has no NFL experience but went 17-for-19 with the San Antonio Brahmas in the XFL in 2023.It will likely come down to Patterson and Badley for the starting kicker job in Detroit. Both have an equal shot at winning the job and will depend on their performances in camp this summer. Is Riley Patterson A Good Fit With The Lions?The fit for Patterson in Detroit is a favorable one, considering the Lions' high-level offense. If he wins the starting kicker job, he can be a streamable fantasy kicker with the potential to be a weekly kicker option.Last season, the Lions averaged the fifth most points per game in the NFL (26.6), and that boosted Badgley's fantasy value in 2022. He averaged 8.4 fantasy points per game with three double-digit performances in the final six weeks. He was also the number two overall kicker in total points between Week 10 and Week 15.If Detroit continues to score points in 2023, that will help Patterson's fantasy outlook in 2023. The Lions only attempted 1.8 field goals per game -; which ranked toward the bottom of the league -; but if that number trends up this season, that would be a big boost for Patterson in fantasy.
According to Rams head coach Sean McVay, the team will continue to be smart with wide receiver Cooper Kupp (ankle). "I think we'll just take that a day at a time," McVay said. "Whenever he does come back, we'll be smart with how we kind of onboard him and get him back up to speed." McVay's stance is certainly understandable, as Kupp has been a productive wideout for years. He finished last season with 75 catches for 812 yards and six touchdowns in nine games before missing the remainder of the season because of a high-ankle sprain that required surgery. But assuming things turn out well, the 29-year-old should be one of the first receivers taken in fantasy drafts heading into Week 1.
According to Falcons head coach Arthur Smith, tight end Kyle Pitts (knee) is expected to be ready for Week 1. However, Smith declined to provide further details. The 22-year-old began his career by catching 68 passes for 1,026 yards and a touchdown as a rookie. He also made the Pro Bowl. As a result, many had assumed Pitts would progress in 2022. Yet, he had only 28 receptions for 356 yards and two touchdowns before going down in Week 11 with a knee injury that resulted in surgery. That said, the 2021 first-round pick is an excellent bounce-back candidate, even more so if quarterback Desmond Ridder improves under center.
Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (knee) was a limited participant at OTAs, as expected. Fortunately, things appear to be moving in the right direction. "It's been a long process, but everything is going good," Williams said. "I'm ready to get back out there." Of course, his optimism doesn't mean he'll be cleared to suit up for Week 1. But considering Williams displayed flashes of potential in his first two years in the league, he's still worth drafting heading into the 2023-24 campaign. However, anyone who picks him up should also entertain adding Samaje Perine, who may be in line for an expanded role early in the season.
Buffalo Bills linebacker Von Miller (knee) feels that he'll be ready to play by the season opener. The veteran linebacker is recovering from an ACL tear that he suffered on Thanksgiving of last year. Despite the long road to recovery involving an ACL tear, Miller believes he'll be ready for the beginning of next season. Last season, Miller recorded 21 tackles, 12 quarterback hits, and eight sacks in 11 games during his first season in Buffalo. It'll obviously be a huge boost for the Bills defense if Miller is ready to go for Week 1 versus the New York Jets.
Free-agent defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is still searching for a new home, but has made it clear he's not going to play for a sub-par team. Ngakoue said that he wants stability and a legitimate chance to pursue a title. That's fair to say considering Ngakoue has bounced around a bit since being drafted in the third round by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016. He spent his first four seasons of his career in Jacksonville. Since then, Ngakoue has played for four teams in three seasons. Last season, Ngakoue recorded 29 tackles, 16 quarterback hits, and 9.5 sacks in 15 games for the Indianapolis Colts. The 28-year-old still has plenty left in the tank and could be a legitimate boost to a contending defense.
Carolina Panthers tight end Hayden Hurst (hernia) will resume running routes on Friday. The 29-year-old is coming off sports-hernia surgery this offseason. Although, he does have plenty of time to get back up to full speed before training camp begins. Hurst will look to build upon his surprisingly solid season with the Cincinnati Bengals last season. He finished with 52 receptions, 414 yards, and two touchdowns in 13 games. The Panthers added multiple weapons over the offseason, including Hurst. He should have a significant role in the offense, so there's some TE2 appeal here.
The Indianapolis Colts are hosting free-agent wide receiver Breshad Perriman for a visit on Friday. The organization is having discussing about signing the 29-year-old wideout. Perriman has spent the two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, he hasn't played a very big role on the team due to injuries. In fact, Perriman has totaled 20 receptions, 267 yards, and two touchdowns in 17 games over the last two seasons. Despite that, Perriman is a decent depth option for the Colts. He likely won't have a big enough role to carve out fantasy value, but he could be a nice fourth or fifth receiver.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (hip) is being held out of practice, according to head coach Shane Steichen. It sounds like the 25-year-old is dealing with a minor hip issue. The Colts are obvious going to be cautious this early into camp. Although, this sounds like a minor issue that should be gone long before training camp begins. It'll be interesting to see what kind of value Pittman has next season. He'll likely have Anthony Richardson under center, which probably means a lot of scrambles. Also, the Colts are likely to go run-heavy with Jonathan Taylor in the backfield. The targets should be there for Pittman, but he might turn into a WR3 in fantasy leagues depending on his role.
Denver Broncos tight end Greg Dulcich could have an expanded role in the offense this upcoming season. His rookie campaign didn't go according to plan as Dulcich was only able to play in 10 games due to injury. He finished with 33 receptions, 411 yards, and two touchdowns in that span. Despite that, the Broncos do have big plans for Dulcich going forward. Head coach Sean Payton mentioned he sees Dulcich playing a "joker" role for the team next season. He said that role is basically a running back or a tight end with exceptional ball skills and then you can work matchups. This seems like it could be a Taysom Hill type of situation. That means, Dulcich could have increased value heading into next season, so fantasy managers should tuned for more updates as camp gets closer.
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons is looking to become more versatile and more of a complete player that can make an impact all over the field in 2023. The 24-year-old former 12th overall pick in 2021 has been a Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro in each of his first two NFL seasons while racking up an astounding 26.5 sacks, but he wants to make plays all over the field this year instead of being obsessed with chasing the sack title. "I'm probably going to play like eight positions this year," Parsons said. He will continue to get his fair share of sacks, and moving around the formation this year could also increase his overall tackle total. Parsons' versatility will continue to make the Cowboys defense a coveted fantasy pick as well, and he should once again be one of the first defensive players taken in IDP drafts.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Simi Fehoko has looked good in organized team activities for the second straight week and also saw plenty of run with quarterback Dak Prescott and the first-team offense. Fehoko is displaying sticky hands and has been running excellent routes, while his speed is deceptive for a player of his size. The 25-year-old will continue to battle with Jalen Tolbert, who appears to be making a second-year jump, for the No. 4 role behind CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks and Michael Gallup. There have been sets called in OTAs that see both Tolbert and Fehoko lined up opposite each other on the first team. It's nice to see Dallas developing some interesting receiver depth, but the reality is that neither Fehoko nor Tolbert will have much fantasy value in 2023 unless an injury occurs ahead of them on the depth chart.
The Dallas Cowboys are making it clear they are looking for a veteran kicker to create training-camp competition with Tristan Vizcaino this summer, on the heels of saying goodbye to Brett Maher one year after what became a three-man competition at the position last year. Vizcaino is off to a solid start at organized team activities, nailing eight of his attempts to close out OTAs. His only misses came from 44 and 55 yards out. The 26-year-old was signed to the team's practice squad in mid-January after Maher famously missed four extra-point attempts in the playoff win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Vizcaino will have to prove he's the guy this summer, but if he wins the job, he could be a kicking streamer in 2023 in fantasy.
A potential reunion between Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson and free-agent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who was released by the Arizona Cardinals last week, is now regarded as a strong possibility, according to league sources. Meanwhile, a return to the Houston Texans, the team Hopkins began his career with, is not expected. In addition to the Browns, the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills were tied to Hopkins when he was still with the Cardinals, but it remains to be seen if the money will be right for them to sign the Pro Bowl wideout. Although the 30-year-old is no longer at his peak, he'd still easily be a top-25 fantasy receiver if he were to join the Browns, and Watson would also become more attractive as a low-end QB1 target.
The Miami Dolphins announced on Friday that they have signed running back De'Von Achane to his rookie deal after taking him in the third round (84th overall) of this year's NFL draft. Achane will be intriguing immediately in Miami's quick-strike offense because of his impressive speed and quickness out of the backfield, although it may take some time for him to be a staple in fantasy leagues. The 21-year-old lines up as the No. 3 running back right now behind Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr., who were both brought back for the 2023 season. Achane's quickest path to fantasy relevance will be as a pass-catcher, especially since the Dolphins loved to target their RBs through the air in 2022.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook has rushed for more yards (5,993) than any in team history except Adrian Peterson (11,747) and Robert Smith (6,818), and he had his fourth straight 1,000-yard season in 2022 while also not missing a game for the first time in his career. He ripped off TD runs of 53 and 81 yards last year and had a top speed of 21.68 mph, the seventh-fastest speed of any ball carrier in 2022. However, he led the league with 62 carries that either lost or didn't gain a yard, and only 34.5% of his carries gained positive yards over expectation. With his injury history and high salary cap numbers the next two years, the Vikings have been planning to move on for some time now. Cook remains in Minnesota, but he's becoming an increasingly volatile RB2 investment in fantasy.
Early spring practices have suggested that Minnesota Vikings running backs Ty Chandler and Pro Bowl kickoff returner Kene Nwangwu could battle for the No. 2 job in the team's backfield behind Alexander Mattison if they part ways with Dalvin Cook, as expected. Chandler spent most of his rookie season in 2022 on Injured Reserve. DeWayne McBride, a seventh-round pick this year who led the nation in rushing last year, is another intriguing prospect but has been rehabbing a minor injury this spring and has yet to take part in organized team activities. If Cook isn't on the team come training camp, Chandler figures to be the most likely backup to Mattison, but we'll have a better idea of how the Vikings backfield will shake out in another month or so.
Dynasty | There's a "strong possibility" that DeAndre Hopkins signs with the Browns Dynasty Analysis: The report reads more as connecting the dots than anything suggested from Hopkins or the Browns. That said, it would stand to reason that Cleveland is, arguably, in the best situation financially to land the top receiver and reuniting him with Deshaun Watson certainly brings added benefit. Hopkins is said to be willing to remain patient in choosing his next location but with Buffalo and Kansas City scrambling to free cap space for a potential signing, and Watson publicly lobbying for Hopkins, the All-Pro receiver may not have long to wait. It's clear both the Chiefs and Bills offer the best chance at a championship so Hopkins will need to weigh his priorities carefully. Hopkins is listed as DLF's WR42 and stands to benefit from any of the three destinations.
Dynasty | Amon-Ra St. Brown has been Jared Goff's favorite target during OTAs Dynasty Analysis: There's no real surprise here but it's further indication that the pair are off to a quick start to 2023 and expectations for the team are as high as they've been in recent years. ARSB has been constantly open in camp and the chemistry with Goff remains good. Coming off his first 1,000-yard campaign in 2022, St. Brown remains a good bet to put up career numbers in his third year in the league. With a revamped running back room, the addition of rookie Sam LaPorta at tight end, and the eventual inclusion of Jameson Williams at receiver, all arrows are pointing up for St. Brown and the Lions offense in 2023. He's listed as DLF's WR8.
Dynasty | Jahmyr Gibbs continues to stand out at OTAs and "just looks the part." Dynasty Analysis: Gibbs was said to be a consideration even higher by the Lions during the 2023 NFL Draft while some teams reportedly had him graded above phenom Bijan Robinson. The Lions have hit the ground running with Gibbs and are splitting him out wide with the receivers, utilizing his strengths as a pass-catcher to complement his running ability. In all drills and routes, Gibbs has looked "fluid" according to the report. Listed as DLF's RB9, it's uncertain how the rushing snaps will be apportioned to start the season, but it's clear that Jahmyr Gibbs is operating as the clear RB1 at this juncture.
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