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AP source: Browns QB Watson settles for 11-game suspension

Thu Aug 18 12:12pm ET
By ROB MAADDI and TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) warms up before an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)


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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson waves to fans during an NFL football practice in Berea, Ohio, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/David Dermer)


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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson looks to throw during NFL football practice in Berea, Ohio, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/David Dermer)


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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson throws during an NFL football practice in Berea, Ohio, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/David Dermer)


Deshaun Watson has reached a settlement with the NFL and will serve an 11-game suspension and pay a $5 million fine rather than risk missing his first season as quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

Watson was accused of sexual misconduct by two dozen women while he played for the Houston Texans. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Thursday in disclosing the settlement between Watson and the league, which had sought to ban him for at least one year for violating its personal conduct policy.

The settlement ends months of posturing between Watson's legal team, the NFL and NFL Players Association.

As part of the settlement, Watson may return for the Browns' game on Dec. 4 in Houston.

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Player Notes
Sean McDermott Aug 18 12:20pm ET
Sean McDermott

The Athletic's Joe Buscaglia writes that the Buffalo Bills running back situation could devolve into a muddy three-person committee this year between Devin Singletary, Zack Moss and rookie James Cook. Singletary is the most experienced in the system, and how he finished last year as the sole trusted back shouldn't be ignored. But the Bills have sought a more versatile skill set the last few offseasons, and he's underwhelming in short-yardage situations and as a pass-catcher. The Bills continue to believe in Moss. He's completely healthy now and has looked more explosive. Cook is buzzworthy as a second-round pick, but if Singletary and Moss continue to get looks with quarterback Josh Allen, Cook's offensive role could be smaller than some expect. The Bills have taken it slow with most of their rookies under head coach Sean McDermott, and Cook's pass protection hasn't been the best.

From RotoBaller

Deshaun Watson Aug 18 12:10pm ET
Deshaun Watson

The NFL and Players Association reached an agreement in Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson's case on Thursday, and he will be suspended for 11 games and fined $5 million. Watson will also undergo a treatment program and will be eligible to return against the Houston Texans, his former team. There had been talks between the league and Players Association this week on a settlement with designee Peter C. Harvey expected to hand down an even harsher penalty for Watson if the two sides didn't agree on a settlement. While Watson will be allowed to play in 2022, the longer suspension makes him even less attractive as a QB2 stash in fantasy leagues. Jacoby Brissett will be the team's starter under center until Watson returns, lowering the value of the rest of the team's offensive skill players.

From RotoBaller

Ezekiel Elliott Aug 18 12:10pm ET
Ezekiel Elliott

The Athletic's Bob Sturm expects the 2022 season to be running back Ezekiel Elliott's last with the Dallas Cowboys. Elliott has lacked explosiveness in recent seasons and his rushing yards per game have fallen every year of his career. His yards per game receiving have also dropped every year since 2018, and he's unlikely to suddenly improve in those areas in 2022. His salary cap number next year isn't guaranteed and will be about $17 million. The Cowboys said they are fully committed to the 27-year-old this year, but fantasy managers probably aren't expecting much despite the fact that he rushed for 1,000 yards in 2021 for the fourth time in six seasons. Tony Pollard, who looked much more explosive last year, should continue to steal valuable touches away from Zeke, making Elliott a clear RB2 instead of an RB1 at this point.

From RotoBaller

Deshaun Watson Aug 18 11:58am ET
Deshaun Watson

The NFL and NFLPA have reached an agreement on an 11-game suspension for Browns QB Deshaun Watson. The settlement also includes a fine of $5 million.

Austin Hooper Aug 18 11:00am ET
Austin Hooper

Tennessee Titans tight end Austin Hooper was busy in the team's joint practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday. He caught three straight passes during the two-minute period and had seven receptions on the day. Hooper was a disappointment in his time with the Cleveland Browns after making two straight Pro Bowl appearances in his final two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons in 2018 and 2019. However, he's developed some nice chemistry with new quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and the two could hook up quite often this year, making Hooper a TE2 sleeper worth taking a chance on in deeper fantasy football leagues.

From RotoBaller

Michael Pittman Jr. Aug 18 10:50am ET
Michael Pittman Jr.

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. was very impressive in the joint practice with the Detroit Lions on Wednesday. The Athletic's Colton Pouncy wrote that Pittman carved up the Lions secondary all day and suggested that fantasy managers take a long look at Pittman in 2022. The third-year wideout looked like quarterback Matt Ryan's top target all afternoon. The 24-year-old had his first 1,000-yard season and six touchdowns in 17 games in his second NFL season with Carson Wentz under center. With the upgrade to Ryan in 2022, Pittman is looking even more attractive in fantasy football drafts as a low-end WR1/high-end WR2.

From RotoBaller

Mecole Hardman Aug 18 10:50am ET
Mecole Hardman

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman's (groin) injury that he suffered in training camp practice on Wednesday isn't considered serious, according to a source. Hardman landed awkwardly while making a catch, limped off the field under his own power and was then carted off. It remains to be seen if the 24-year-old will be good to go for the Week 1 regular season opener, but it appears he's avoided a long-term injury to begin the 2022 season. With Tyreek Hill now in Miami, Hardman will have a bigger role in the offense this year alongside JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. He was working as the Chiefs No. 3 receiver in the preseason opener last week. Hardman's injury will give rookie Skyy Moore increased repetitions in camp for the time being.

From RotoBaller

Irv Smith Jr. Aug 18 10:40am ET
Irv Smith Jr.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell said on Thursday that tight end Irv Smith Jr. (thumb), who had thumb surgery earlier this summer, is on track to play in Week 1 against the division-rival Green Bay Packers. Smith missed all of last season after having surgery to fix the meniscus in his right knee, but he's expected to be ready to go for the start of the regular season. How effective he'll be and how much he'll be on the field is a different story. The fact that he's missed most of training camp to this point isn't a great sign either. In his two seasons played in the NFL, the 24-year-old has 66 catches (90 targets) for 676 yards and seven touchdowns, but he could break out in 2022 if he stays healthy as the team's top pass-catching tight end. Consider Smith a TE2 in fantasy with upside.

From RotoBaller

Alec Pierce Aug 18 10:30am ET
Alec Pierce

The Indianapolis Colts seem unlikely to sign a veteran wide receiver before the regular season, mainly based on the rate of growth from rookie receiver Alec Pierce. Pierce still has work to do, but his confidence is growing by the day. The 22-year-old is unlikely to be drafted in standard 12-team leagues, but he's one to keep an eye on. Pierce has been working with the first-team offense a lot in training camp practices, and he opened the team's preseason opener last week against the Buffalo Bills as a starter in three-receiver sets. The second-round pick should have his moments in his rookie year with quarterback Matt Ryan throwing him the ball, and he'll be a solid target in dynasty/keeper drafts in 2022.

From RotoBaller

Josh Allen Aug 18 10:30am ET
Josh Allen

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott said that quarterback Josh Allen is going to play in Saturday's preseason game against the Denver Broncos and that most of the starters will play "a healthy amount." Fantasy managers that have already drafted Allen as the likely overall QB1 will be keeping their fingers crossed that he comes out of this one healthy. Although the Bills offense is mostly intact from last season, they'll have a new offensive coordinator in Ken Dorsey. It shouldn't change all that much for the 26-year-old Allen, who finished the 2021 campaign as the QB1 in fantasy with 4,407 passing yards, 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, adding 763 rushing yards and six more TDs.

From RotoBaller

James Robinson Aug 18 10:20am ET
James Robinson

Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson (Achilles) has been taking part in team drills at training camp recently and has been making open-field cuts/moves, although he won't play in the team's preseason game this Saturday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But head coach Doug Pederson said the hope and expectation is that Robinson will play in Week 1 against the Washington Commanders. Second-year back Travis Etienne Jr. is still garnering more attention in fantasy drafts, especially in PPR formats, but fantasy managers shouldn't completely ignore Robinson. Pairing both Etienne and Robinson in fantasy drafts would be ideal. Because the 24-year-old might not be full-go by the regular season opener, he'll probably be more of an RB3/flex standalone play, at best, in Week 1.

From RotoBaller

Baker Mayfield Aug 18 10:10am ET
Baker Mayfield

The Carolina Panthers are expected to name quarterback Baker Mayfield their starting QB for Week 1 of the regular season against his former team, the Cleveland Browns, according to sources. Mayfield has been competing with Sam Darnold during training camp. Head coach Matt Rhule said he could decide between Mayfield and Darnold by the preseason game against the New England Patriots. It's always been Mayfield's job to lose after Carolina acquired him from the Browns in the offseason. The 27-year-old struggled through injuries in 2021 in his final season in Cleveland, but he'll be hoping to bounce back this year with better health, beginning with a revenge tilt. Mayfield will be a low-end QB2 for fantasy managers.

From RotoBaller

Kenneth Walker III Aug 18 9:49am ET
Kenneth Walker III

Dynasty | Seahawks rookie running back Kenneth Walker will miss the remainder of the preseason after undergoing a "procedue" Dynasty Analysis: There was not explanation by Pete Carroll as to what the surgery was for and no guarantee that Walker would be back by week one of the regular season, though he said that was the goal. Rashaad Penny has returned from a minor injury and now looks to have the starting role all to himself though other depth chart names will still factor. The Seahawks are a leaking ship in multiple spots but there has been excitement surrounding the run-game following the team's selection of Walker. As long as the rookie returns quickly and without setback, he'll remain a highly selected rookie. He's listed as DLF's RB17.

Baker Mayfield Aug 18 9:13am ET
Baker Mayfield

Carolina Panthers QB Baker Mayfield is expected to be named starting quarterback for Week 1, according to sources.

Fantasy Spin: Mayfield is expected to beat out Sam Darnold for the spot, but that was pretty much expected. He remains a QB2 option in fantasy.

From TheHuddle

Travis Fulgham Aug 17 11:13pm ET
Travis Fulgham

Dynasty | Travis Fulgham was claimed off waivers from the Broncos by the Green Bay Packers. Dynasty Analysis: Fulgham was a dynasty darling in 2021 when he posted a 67/539/4 line for the Eagles, but has bounced around the league in the last year or so. He's worth keeping on watch lists as he's now on a depth chart not exactly stocked with talent. Still, there's little chance of Fulgham re-emerging as a viable dynasty asset and he's best left kept on the waiver wire.

From Dynasty League Fantasy

Bryce Perkins Aug 17 11:10pm ET
Bryce Perkins

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins will suit up for the second half of the preseason matchup against the Texans. John Wolford, who is starting and playing the first half, has the edge of remaining the No. 2 option on the depth chart. However, Perkins is making a case for himself to overthrow Wolford after accounting for three touchdowns during the Rams' preseason win over the Chargers on Saturday. Nevertheless, neither man possesses any fantasy value heading into the season. Yet, they should at least be considered for DFS contests on Friday night, especially with how much they'll be playing.

From RotoBaller

Jourdan Lewis Aug 17 11:03pm ET
Jourdan Lewis

Dallas Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis (hamstring) suffered a hamstring injury during the joint practice with the Los Angeles Chargers Wednesday, Aug. 17, and is scheduled to undergo an MRI.

From TheHuddle

John Wolford Aug 17 11:00pm ET
John Wolford

Los Angeles Rams quarterback John Wolford will start and play the first half of the preseason clash against Houston. The 26-year-old will get some exhibition reps in an attempt to hold down the No. 2 spot on the depth chart behind Matthew Stafford. However, with Bryce Perkins getting the nod for the second half, it appears Sean McVay is searching for his permanent backup. Nevertheless, neither of these guys have fantasy appeal in redraft formats heading into the 2022-23 campaign. Yet, both men deserve consideration for DFS lineups on Friday night, especially considering how much they'll be playing.

From RotoBaller

Joe Burrow Aug 17 10:50pm ET
Joe Burrow

Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle La'el Collins (personal) didn't practice on Wednesday. Head coach Zac Taylor didn't specify when he'd return, only mentioning he expects him to be in uniform for Week 1. The 29-year-old inked a three-year, $21 million deal this offseason after spending seven years with Dallas. While signing Collins was a priority for the Bengals, a team that struggled to keep Joe Burrow upright last season, he recently returned to practice after sitting out because of a back issue. Nevertheless, Burrow should continue to captain the offense efficiently, no matter who is protecting him this season. However, Collins' play may suffer due to his absences throughout training camp, which isn't ideal.

From RotoBaller

Matthew Stafford Aug 17 10:30pm ET
Matthew Stafford

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (elbow) informed reporters he "felt good" after recently participating fully in an intrasquad scrimmage. However, the veteran couldn't answer if he'd still be dealing with the residual effects of his bout with elbow tendinitis come Week 1. Still, Stafford has proven time and time again that he's one of the toughest quarterbacks in the league. That sentiment was echoed when the 34-year-old stated he would play through any lingering soreness while adding it shouldn't impact his performance. Nevertheless, Stafford is coming off a fantastic season that resulted in a Super Bowl win over the Bengals. Although nobody knows if he'll stay on the field for the entire 2022-23 campaign due to the ailment, he should remain classified as a starting fantasy signal-caller in all formats, especially with Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson II in his arsenal.

From RotoBaller