Thu Jun 8 2:53pm ET
Field Level Media
The Carolina Panthers moved No. 1 overall draft pick Bryce Young to the top quarterback spot on the depth chart, but coach Frank Reich stopped short Thursday of naming the rookie his Week 1 starter.
Until now, veteran Andy Dalton, an offseason signee, had been listed as the starter and took the opening reps with the first unit in voluntary offseason workouts, though Young also worked with the first team. But Reich told reporters that Young has impressed him enough to make the change.
"It's just the next step," Reich said. "We had a couple of weeks to watch Andy. Andy has continued to perform at a very high level. We're just trying to get our team ready. Everything is about what's best for our team, and so this was just the next step."
The first-year coach isn't ready to hand Young the starting job until he sees more from him, however.
"He's showing everything you want to see," Reich said. "But this goes back to even the draft decision. We don't have to make a decision until you have to make it."
Reich said this is the timeline that he and general manager Scott Fitterer envisioned when they drafted Young, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from Alabama. During mandatory camp next week, Young will take the first-team reps and the 35-year-old Dalton will lead the second unit.
Young, who turns 22 next month, said he won't change his approach.
"For me, it's about earning it," Young said. "I'm grateful to have the opportunity that I have. I still think it's a process. I'm grateful to be accepted by the team. It's an amazing locker room, a great group of guys. I want to continue with that.
"It's not something you're just entitled to."
Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett (knee) was at Thursday's organized team activities. He's not doing individual drills on the field, but he did warm up with the team. Barnett's 2022 season was over before it really started after he suffered a season-ending torn ACL in Week 1 against the Detroit Lions. The 26-year-old still might not be able to practice when training camp kicks off at the end of July, which could also affect his availability for the start of the 2023 season. The former first-rounder in 2017 had a career-high 46 tackles (20 solo), two sacks, seven tackles for loss and 11 QB hits in 16 games (15 starts) in 2021, and he has 21.5 career sacks in his six seasons in Philadelphia.
The Los Angeles Rams agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with free-agent veteran wide receiver Demarcus Robinson on Thursday. Robinson will join the Rams after spending the 2022 season with the Baltimore Ravens. The 28-year-old former fourth-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016 had a career-high 48 catches on 75 targets for 458 receiving yards and two touchdowns in 17 games (five starts) for Baltimore before undergoing sports-hernia surgery in February. Robinson should be fully ready for training camp and the start of the 2023 season, where he'll serve as receiving depth for a Rams offense that didn't make any notable additions this offseason. He'll be competing for a role behind Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson and Ben Skowronek and won't be worth drafting in standard 12-team leagues.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni singled out wide receiver Quez Watkins as one player on the team that has stood out this spring during offseason workouts. Sirianni has praised Watkins for his mindset coming back from last year, when he caught 33 of his 51 targets for 354 yards and a career-high three touchdowns in 17 regular season games (eight starts) as the team's No. 3 wideout behind A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. It was a slight step back from his sophomore season in 2021 of 43 catches on 62 targets for 647 yards and one touchdown in 17 games. The 24-year-old former sixth-rounder could be the team's primary slot receiver again in 2023 if he beats out Olamide Zaccheaus in training camp, but even then, Watkins probably isn't draftable in standard-sized fantasy leagues in an offense with so many mouths to feed already.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Rachaad White had an impressive rookie season in 2022. He put up 771 yards from scrimmage on 179 touches and three touchdowns. He finished as the RB36 in PPR formats and averaged just under 8.2 fantasy points per game.White was stuck behind veteran Leonard Fournette to begin the season but eventually took over the RB1 job in Tampa Bay before the team's Week 11 bye. With Fournette cut this offseason, the second-year back will be the Buccaneers' starter in Week 1.Does that mean he'll have an expanded role? What does that mean for his fantasy numbers? Will Rachaad White Have An Expanded Role In Tampa Bay's Passing Game?The departure of Fournette will surely help open up more opportunities for the 24-year-old running back. The Buccaneers also didn't add much competition behind White in the running back room in free agency or during the draft.Tampa Bay drafted zero running backs with eight draft picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. So, the team will roll with White, Ke'Shawn Vaughn, and newly signed Chase Edmonds. Vaughn remains with the team after only having 20 touches last season, and Edmonds has struggled to stay healthy over the past two seasons.So, it appears White will be in line for a large workload. He also went on Fantasy Sports Radio and said there will be "a lot of balls coming my way" this season. He then talked about how he played slot receiver in high school.https://twitter.com/siriusxmfantasy/status/1665788315612725249?s=42&t=nmclxZ4zP1Gqt9CUbbpkHwIt appears the Buccaneers plan to give White an expanded role in the receiving game this season and could line him up occasionally in the slot, which could skyrocket his fantasy value. Rachaad White Fantasy Football OutlookIf the Buccaneers plan to give White an expanded role in the offense, he can take his game to the next level in just his second season.When Fournette went down and missed Week 12 with an injury, White showcased his potential in the RB1 role. He had 14 carries for 64 yards and nine catches for 45 yards and finished with 19.9 PPR fantasy points.White can replicate that same type of success in 2023 as the lead back in Tampa's offense. He was an occasional flex play toward the end of last season while splitting with Fournette. But, with the Buccaneers planning to get the 24-year-old back more involved in the receiving game, he'll be a high-end RB2 in fantasy -- even on a team that may struggle offensively this season.
Dynasty | Head coach Kevin Stefanski singled-out rookie receiver Cedric Tillman as a top performer Dynasty Analysis: Stefanski acknowledge that all the rookies are "swimming" due to all the information but lauded Tillman's intelligence specifically. Without pads in training camp, it's far easier for rookies to catch the eye of coaches and fellow players, but all positive notes are good notes. Tillman is found as DLF's rookie WR10 and has a chance at early-career production as he fights for snaps in his rookie year. With Amari Cooper expected to move on following 2023 and Donovan Peoples-Jones still not considered a top-flight option, Tillman could benefit. He's listed as DLF's WR66 in our non-rookie rankings.
Dynasty | Mark Andrews said that he's probably in the best shape of his life Dynasty Analysis: Andrews turns 28 in early September and is coming off a down year in which he produced 847 yards and five touchdowns across 73 receptions. The top tight end did miss two games due to injury. Looking ahead to the 2023 regular season, Andrews figures to loom large once again as a favored target of Lamar Jackson, potentially approaching the 107/1,361/9 stat line he produced in 2021. One to always deflect praise, if Andrews is saying he's in the best shape of his career, it's a statement to take note of. He's listed as DLF's TE2.
Dynasty | Romeo Doubs is a breakout candidate for 2023 Dynasty Analysis: Doubs' connection with Jordan Love has been on display in OTAs and it continues to grow. It's clear the second-year receiver has been the standout in camp and he'll be looking to finally make good on expectations after, as a rookie, the fast-rising receiver failed to match the hype, ultimately finishing with a 42/425/3 line with Aaron Rodgers under center. Now with Jordan Love at the helm, it remains to be seen if the reduced expectations from the dynasty community are enou
Dynasty | Deebo Samuel said he expects to bounce back following an "awful" 2022 due to the ongoing distraction of contract discussions Dynasty Analysis: In his comments, Samuel seems extremely motivated and said he'll "never put nothing on tape like that again." By all accounts, Brandon Aiyuk has been the standout in OTAs while Deebo worked on the side but he's expected to hit the ground running when camp opens. There are few players in the NFL with Samuel's dynamic and if he's on his game, he's a show-stopper and a candidate to be the top receiver in total yardage production. 2021's total production of 1,770 yards stands in stark contrast to 2022's total of 864 across only 13 games. Still only 27 and now listed as DLF's WR15, the dynasty community appears unconvinced a return to 2021's production is forthcoming.
Dynasty | Michael Thomas said he will be full speed for training camp Dynasty Analysis: It will be the first time Thomas has been fully healthy in years and he's certain to be a favored target of new quarterback Derek Carr. Now 30, Thomas hasn't had a 1,000-yard season (1,725) since 2019 and he's appeared in only 10 games over the past two years. With a somewhat revamped offense, it's hard to know what to expect from the aging, once-great, receiver though he's likely to be a popular sleeper selection in dynasty drafts. He's listed as DLF's WR70.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (leg) didn't finish practice on Wednesday after tweaking something in his leg, but the injury isn't considered serious. The Cowboys were likely just being extra cautious with their star No. 1 receiver, so fantasy managers considering drafting him this year shouldn't have anything to worry about. The former first-round pick in 2020 has improved in each of his three NFL seasons to this point, culminating in career-highs across the board in 2022 in receptions (107), targets (156), receiving yards (1,359) and touchdowns (nine) in 17 regular season starts. The 24-year-old pass-catcher now has back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and enters the 2023 campaign as a strong WR1 target in fantasy drafts.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (ankle) said on Tuesday that he's "feeling really good" as he returned to a full team practice for the first time this offseason while continuing to rehab his ankle. Kupp had season-ending surgery after suffering a high-ankle sprain in Week 10, and he finished 2022 with 75 catches for 812 yards and six TDs in nine games. He worked on the side with a trainer on Tuesday, running routes, sprinting around cones and pushing a wheeled sled. Kupp is leaving the decision to the medical team as to whether he's cleared to take part in full-speed drills in offseason workouts. The 29-year-old should be ready to go for training camp this summer and the start of the regular season. Even if LA's offense continues to struggle in 2023, Kupp should be a target hog and surefire WR1 in fantasy.
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Kelvin Joseph (back) left the team's practice on Wednesday with a tight back. It doesn't sound like the injury is very serious, but the Cowboys will take precaution at this point in the offseason. Joseph, a second-rounder in 2021, has mostly been a special teams player in his first two NFL seasons in Dallas, but he did take on a larger role toward the end of last season opposite Trevon Diggs in the secondary. The 23-year-old will open the 2023 campaign in a reserve role yet again after the Cowboys acquired Stephon Gilmore in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts in the offseason. Joseph has only 36 tackles (30 solo), four passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 26 games (three starts) the last two seasons.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waived kicker Jake Verity on Wednesday after he signed a futures deal this spring. The move leaves Chase McLaughlin as the only kicker on the current roster, and he'll be their guy in 2023. The Buccaneers could always bring in another kicker to compete with McLaughlin for training camp at the end of July, but for now, he looks like their guy. The 27-year-old has made 78.8 percent of his 85 field-goal attempts in his career that has spanned four seasons. In the last two years with the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts, he's made 45 of 57 attempts (78.9%) while missing one of his 58 extra-point tries. With Tom Brady retired, Tampa's offense is expected to take a step back under either Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask, so McLaughlin probably won't be worth drafting in fantasy leagues.
Updating a previous report, the Minnesota Vikings are expected to try and trade four-time Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook one more time on Thursday, and if they are unable to, they would plan to process his official release on Friday, according to a source. The Vikings have been planning for Cook's departure all offseason, and although a few teams have been mentioned as potential trade partners, at this point it's most likely that he'll be outright released. While the 27-year-old has dealt with nagging injuries, he's still managed four straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons in Minnesota. He's coming off offseason shoulder surgery, but it's not expected to impact his availability for the 2023 campaign. Where Cook lands in free agency will determine his fantasy value for the upcoming season, but he's unlikely to land a role as a three-down workhorse back.
Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Bryce Young, the first overall pick in this year's NFL draft, opened Thursday's organized team activities with the first-team offense, according to multiple reports from the session. Young had been behind veteran Andy Dalton in all of the other spring practices open to the media. The 21-year-old was eventually expected to take over first-team duties, but this is a little bit earlier than expected. It's a sign that the Alabama product is impressing the coaching staff as he learns the offense under head coach Frank Reich. Barring an injury, it would be a huge surprise if Young isn't the starter under center for Carolina in Week 1 of the regular season.
Dynasty | Per a source, the Vikings will release Dalvin Cook Dynasty Analysis: Ultimately, the Vikings couldn't get a trade done with the understanding that the team would end up releasing Cook in the end. He'll now be able to select his future team with the possibility of one last multi-year deal to end his career. Odds would seem to favor the soon-to-be 28-year-old signing with the Dolphins, returning home to Miami, though a pairing with his brother in Buffalo shouldn't be ruled out. Dalvin Cook, DLF's RB21, remains a productive option though has only eclipsed 14 games once (2022). Though a recurrent shoulder injury poses risk, Cook should remain viable as a back-end RB1 in 2023.
Dynasty | With the pending release of Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison is primed to operate as the RB1 for the Vikings Dynasty Analysis: Mattison signed a two-year contract earlier this offseason and isn't a free agent until 2025, paving the way for the soon-to-be 25-year-old for two years of carry-the-load production. He'll inherit an upside role with significant potential though Mattison's previous production behind starter Dalvin Cook has been less than stellar. That said, entering his fifth season, Mattison possesses the size and receiving ability to factor on all three downs and should garner a significant workload in 2023. He's is listed as DLF's RB37 and carries significant upside potential given his current value.
Chicago Bears running back Khalil Herbert has the early lead for the RB1 role in Chicago in 2023 now that David Montgomery is in Detroit. Herbert sits atop the RB depth chart after a standout second season in the NFL in which he led all rushers with 5.7 yards per carry. The 25-year-old has been taking the first-team repetitions during organized team activities, but he'll face competition in training camp from D'Onta Foreman, Travis Homer, Trestan Ebner and fourth-round rookie Roschon Johnson. "No one has earned a seat in that room yet, and they're all going to earn their seats from what we do now until August whatever, whenever that third preseason game is," running backs coach David Walker said. Even if Herbert wins the RB1 job in training camp, he's not going to be a three-down back in this offense, and the presence of quarterback Justin Fields will also hurt his overall fantasy upside.
The Carolina Panthers announced on Thursday that cornerback Jaycee Horn (ankle, foot) will miss the rest of organized team activities and minicamp with a non-surgical injury to his left ankle and foot that he suffered while working out on his own last weekend. The good news is Horn is expected to be fully recovered in time for the start of training camp at the end of July. The 23-year-old will be in a walking boot for the next couple of weeks. The former eighth overall pick in 2021 has played in only 16 games in his first two NFL seasons due to injury. In 13 contests in 2022, Horn finished with 53 tackles (37 solo), three interceptions and seven passes defensed for Carolina's secondary.
The Arizona Cardinals parted ways with DeAndre Hopkins this offseason and cut the three-time All-Pro wide receiver in late May. The Cardinals couldn't find a trade suitor for Hopkins during the past couple of months and will now take on a $22.6 million dead cap hit.After spending the last three years in Arizona, the 31-year-old wideout will look to find a new home. His first in-person visit will be with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.Is Tennessee a good fit for Hopkins? Would it boost his fantasy value? Let's take a look. Is DeAndre Hopkins A Good Fit For The Titans?This is the first time Hopkins has been a free agent in his 10-year career, so expect the veteran to go on multiple visits with different teams. However, the Titans get the first crack at making a pitch to one of the game's best.https://twitter.com/tompelissero/status/1666505101056397315?s=42&t=nmclxZ4zP1Gqt9CUbbpkHwHopkins had 221 catches for 2,696 yards and 17 touchdowns over the past three seasons in Arizona, including 64 catches for 717 yards and three touchdowns in 2022. He has been a game-changer on any offense he has been a part of. However, the fit in Tennessee isn't the best.The Titans have been known to rely more on the run than the pass over the years. Last season, they ranked sixth in rush play percentage, running the ball 49.09% of the time compared to 50.91% through the air. Maybe things would change with Hopkins in town. DeAndre Hopkins Fantasy Football OutlookIf Hopkins decides to join the Titans, his fantasy value might take a slight hit compared to if he joined the Buffalo Bills or Kansas City Chiefs. Still, the All-Pro wideout could be a high-end WR2/low-end WR1 in Tennessee with Ryan Tannehill under center.Tannehill dealt with injuries in 2022, which correlated to a rough season for the veteran quarterback. But remember, he helped A.J. Brown finish as the WR12 in PPR leagues in 2020. That season, Derrick Henry also carried a big workload with 378 rushes and an RB1 non-PPR finish. So, there's certainly potential for Hopkins to thrive in Tennessee's run-first offense.The positive outlook for Hopkins joining the Titans is the team's lack of wide receiver options. He would come in and work as the WR1 with second-year wideout Treylon Burks following as the WR2. There wouldn't be much competition for targets, which is a plus for his fantasy value.Either way, wherever Hopkins goes, he'll be the vocal point of the offense.