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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

NFL will have 58 prospects participating remotely in draft

Thu Apr 9 8:35pm ET
By The Associated Press

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow watches a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

NEW YORK (AP) Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow and Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young are among 58 prospects who will participate virtually in the NFL draft next week that will double as a telethon to raise money to fight the coronavirus crisis.

Burrow is one of eight LSU players who will take part in the April 23-25 draft, one more than Alabama.

Normally, top prospects would be invited to the draft itself, but this year's festivities in Las Vegas were scuttled by the coronavirus outbreak and the draft will instead be conducted in a studio with the league's 32 teams participating remotely from their hometowns.

The NFL also said that throughout the three-day draft it will host a ''Draft-A-Thon'' to benefit COVID-19 relief efforts and pay tribute to healthcare workers and others on the front lines of the pandemic.

The virus has killed more than 12,000 people in the U.S. and fundamentally transformed American life while plunging the global economy into what is expected to be a major recession. More than one in 10 U.S. workers have lost their jobs in just the past three weeks to the pandemic.

Worldwide, more than 1.5 million people have been confirmed infected and about 90,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The SEC leads all conferences with 24 prospects confirmed to participate in the event, which will serve as a three-day virtual fundraiser benefiting six charities that are battling the virus and delivering relief to millions in need.

Those charities are: the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross; CDC Foundation's All of Us; and the COVID-19 response funds of Feeding America, Meals on Wheels America and United Way.

Despite the logistical challenges of operating a 255-pick draft remotely, teams will still have just 10 minutes between picks in the first round, seven for rounds 2 and 3 and five for rounds 4-7.

The Cincinnati Bengals own the first overall pick.

Player Notes
Josh Reynolds Apr 9 7:43pm ET

Los Angeles Rams WR Josh Reynolds caught six of 11 targets for a total of 104 yards in two starts last season.

Fantasy Spin: The two starts came with freshly-traded WR Brandin Cooks out of the lineup, but they were in fairly difficult matchups against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears. Reynolds will be the third option behind WRs Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods with Cooks moving on to the Houston Texans. He'll be worth streaming in plush matchups and will be a high-priority waiver addition if Kupp and/or Woods were to suffer injury.

From TheHuddle

Dalvin Cook Apr 9 7:40pm ET

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, who considers himself "the best back in the game," wants to stay in Minnesota for the long haul. The 24-year-old will make a base salary of $1.331 million in his fourth season in 2020. Cook finished seventh in the league in 2019 with 1,654 yards from scrimmage, running for 1,135 yards and catching 53 passes for 519 yards. He has one year left on his rookie deal and is in line to sign a lucrative contract extension, but he wants to stay with the Vikings. Discussions about an extension between the team and his agent are ongoing. Cook thinks he can become more of a receiver out of the backfield and catch more passes in 2020, which would surely make him an even more valuable RB1 for fantasy owners. He has injury concerns, but there's no arguing with the fact that Cook finished as a top-five fantasy running back last year.

From RotoBaller

Brandin Cooks Apr 9 7:30pm ET

The Houston Texans acquired wide receiver Brandin Cooks and a 2022 fourth-round pick from the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday in exchange for the 57th overall pick in this month's draft. The Texans traded elite wideout DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals in exchange for running back David Johnson earlier this offseason, so adding another receiver to help pick up the slack from Hopkins' departure was necessary. Houston's receivers now include Cooks, Will Fuller, Randall Cobb and Kenny Stills at the receiver position. Cooks should be the No. 2 behind Fuller, while this acquisition mostly hurts Stills and Cobb in the pecking order. The 26-year-old missed two games with a head injury last year and caught only 42 passes for 583 yards and two touchdowns, breaking a streak of four straight 1,000-yard seasons. Cooks has boom/bust potential in fantasy while pairing up with quarterback Deshaun Watson, but there sure are a lot of mouths to feed now in Houston's passing game.

From RotoBaller

Brandin Cooks Apr 9 7:23pm ET

Los Angeles Rams WR Brandin Cooks and a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft were traded to the Houston Texans Thursday, April 9, in exchange for the No. 57 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Fantasy Spin: Moving Cooks, who is coming off his worst statistical season since his 2014 rookie campaign, clears even more room for WRs Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. Kupp is the better of the two options and should be targeted as a high-end WR2 in 2020 fantasy drafts. Woods will be a viable WR3.

From TheHuddle

Brandin Cooks Apr 9 7:23pm ET

Los Angeles Rams WR Brandin Cooks was traded to the Houston Texans Thursday, April 9, in exchange for the No. 57 pick the 2020 NFL Draft. The Texans also received a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft in the deal.

Fantasy Spin: Cooks dealt with multiple concussions last season, but he was still able to play and start 14 games. He caught 42 of 72 targets for 583 yards and two touchdowns. All figures were his lowest since his 2014 rookie season with the New Orleans Saints. He's the clear No. 1 option in the Texans' offense and the best replacement for the recently-traded DeAndre Hopkins, but he doesn't have anywhere near the same upside. He'll be a risky low-tier WR2 in drafts.

From TheHuddle

D.J. Foster Apr 9 7:03pm ET

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said the third running back spot behind RB Kenyan Drake and RB Chase Edmonds may still be open following the re-signing of RB D.J. Foster. 'We think he has a good skill set,' Kingsbury said in regard to Foster, 'but that's an area we'd like to have three that you feel like we could roll through and not lose much.'

Fantasy Spin: Drake is the clear fantasy target from the Cardinals' backfield, and he'll be a strong RB2 as the depth chart currently stands. The selection of a top-end rookie back within the first three rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft could take away from Drake's appeal in re-draft leagues, and the younger option would likely become the superior dynasty target.

From TheHuddle

Dalvin Cook Apr 9 6:33pm ET

Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook said Thursday, April 9, he'd like to stick with the team for the foreseeable future. 'I definitely love Minnesota,' said Cook. 'I love everything the state has to bring. Being a kid, I was drafted (in 2017) from Miami (his hometown), so I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I actually am happy where I'm at, and I would like to be in Minnesota long term. ... It's all about what the person believes in, what the owners believe in, the GM believes in, and I firmly think the Vikings believe in me.'

Fantasy Spin: Cook said in the same interview he considers himself to be the best running back in the NFL. Entering the fourth and final season of his rookie contract, the 24-year-old has yet to play a 16-game season. He rushed for a career-high 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns across 14 games in 2019 while adding 519 yards as a receiver. He's a strong RB1 in all formats, whether or not the Vikes add a top receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft.

From TheHuddle

Julian Edelman Apr 9 6:13pm ET

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman won't be prosecuted after being cited by police for misdemeanor vandalism earlier this year, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The owner of a car Edelman damaged informed the DA's Office he doesn't want Edelman charged, and he was fully compensated for the repairs.

Fantasy Spin: While this was never expected to keep Edelman off the field in 2020, he now is fully cleared to be ready whenever the 2020 NFL season starts. He heads into the 2020 NFL Draft as the Patriots' No. 1 receiver, but he'll be handcuffed by the team's shaky quarterback situation following the free-agent departure of Tom Brady.

From TheHuddle

Adrian Clayborn Apr 9 5:53pm ET

Updating previous reports, Cleveland Browns DE Adrian Clayborn's contract was finalized Thursday, April 9, by the NFL.

From TheHuddle

Dontari Poe Apr 9 5:53pm ET

Updating previous reports, Dallas Cowboys DT Dontari Poe's contract was finalized Thursday, April 9, by the NFL.

From TheHuddle

Jameis Winston Apr 9 4:20pm ET

The Pittsburgh Steelers are unlikely to pursue free-agent quarterback Jameis Winston as a backup for Ben Roethlisberger in 2020. The Steelers could probably use an upgrade over either Mason Rudolph or Devlin Hodges behind Big Ben, but they also have former first-round pick Paxton Lynch on roster. Winston led the league with 5,109 passing yards in 2019, but he also led the NFL with 30 interceptions as his turnover-prone ways continued. The Bucs chose future Hall of Famer Tom Brady over him this offseason, and Winston's market has been pretty much non-existent since he hit the open market. The 26-year-old seems destined to be a backup somewhere in 2020, which leaves little room for fantasy value after he was a QB1 for most of last season.

From RotoBaller

Tom Brady Apr 9 4:10pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said that, "We have a lot of faith in Ronald Jones II. We have more faith in him than we ever have." Jones had a dreadful rookie season in 2018, but he was much better last year in a timeshare with Peyton Barber, running the ball 172 times for 724 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and six touchdowns in 16 games (nine starts). Barber is now gone, so theoretically Jones should have a bigger workload. However, he still leaves a lot to be desired with pass protection, and the Bucs must keep the pocket clean for new quarterback Tom Brady. Dare Ogunbowale is next up behind Jones, and the Bucs could address the position further in the draft. Jones' value will depend on who else is splitting time with him and if he can improve in pass protection, which will give him a chance to be on the field more during third downs.

From RotoBaller

Tua Tagovailoa Apr 9 4:10pm ET

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's (hip) doctors "have been very clear that Tua's health is fine. There's no recurrence that's going to happen here." Everything regarding Tagovailoa's rehab from a serious hip injury have been encouraging, and he's been given a clean bill of health by his doctors. Interested teams have a tougher time gathering information on injured prospects during the coronavirus shutdown, but his doctors and agents are doing everything they can to assure teams that he'll be ready to go without restrictions in 2020. Already a lock to go within the first 10 picks of this month's draft, his positive health outlook is making him a lock to be a top-five pick now, possibly as high as No. 3 if a team trades up with the Lions.

From RotoBaller

Jadeveon Clowney Apr 9 4:00pm ET

Free-agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is considering short-term deals after he's encountered a very cold market in free agency. Clowney has already dropped his asking price from $20 million per season, and now it looks like he's willing to accept a one- or two-year deal to re-establish his value as a pass-rusher. The Browns have shown interest in Clowney, and some around the league believe Cleveland got closer to signing him than any other team, but there remains nothing imminent. The 27-year-old is a nuisance in both the pass and run game when healthy, but he has a long injury history and has never had a double-digit sack season, which is why teams aren't giving into his demands this offseason. Plus, with the absence of physicals during the coronavirus pandemic, interested clubs aren't able to give Clowney a physical with their doctors.

From RotoBaller

Cam Newton Apr 9 3:50pm ET

Free-agent quarterback Cam Newton is willing to wait to pick a team, possibly until after the draft, in order to make sure the fit is right, according to a source close to him. There just aren't many teams looking for a starting quarterback right now, but things should become more clear after the draft. The Chargers and Patriots seem to be the best fits, but neither club has shown much, if any, interest in the former MVP. Part of the problem is that Newton has dealt with shoulder and foot injuries the last two days and teams are unable to conduct their own physicals with players. It's making things tougher on Newton on the open market. The dual-threat QB's stock is obviously down coming off injury and without a team, but he could bounce back in the right situation. Stay tuned.

From RotoBaller

Julian Edelman Apr 9 3:40pm ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman won't face prosecution after he was cited for misdemeanor vandalism in January, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Edelman was arrested on Jan. 11 in Beverly Hills after jumping on the hood of a vehicle and causing damage. The owner has been fully compensated for the repair costs and has dropped any charges. The veteran wideout led the Patriots with 100 catches for 1,117 yards and six touchdowns in 2019, but his fantasy stock will go down with quarterback Tom Brady leaving in free agency. Edelman can still be useful in PPR leagues, but the consistency should suffer with either Jarrett Stidham or another QB throwing him the football next season.

From RotoBaller

Stephen Gostkowski Apr 9 2:33pm ET

Unrestricted free-agent PK Stephen Gostkowski (Patriots) intends to play in 2020, provided there is a season. 'I'm not ready to just hang it up,' Gostkowski, 36, said. 'I'm gonna try to play. It's going to be tough to show teams what I can do right now or work out or do a physical, but I'm not too worried about it. I'm not concerned. I kind of take things day by day.'

From TheHuddle

Ronald Jones II Apr 9 2:23pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones was given an endorsement from general manager Jason Licht on Thursday, April 9. 'We have a lot of faith in Ronald. We have more faith in him than we ever have,' Licht said.

Fantasy Spin: While this doesn't say much, and it could easily be construed as "GM speak," the fact Tampa has yet to bring in a running back this offseason says something to Jones' credit. The NFL draft will be interesting for a team with few other glaring needs and a prized new quarterback to help. Jones has RB2 potential if all goes well, but there's also a great deal of concern through uncertainty and his lack of consistently capable play to date.

From TheHuddle

Bashaud Breeland Apr 9 1:03pm ET

Updating previous reports, unrestricted free-agent CB Bashaud Breeland (Chiefs) agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $4.5 million with the Kansas City Chiefs, according to a source Thursday, April 9.

From TheHuddle

Aldrick Rosas Apr 9 12:50pm ET

New York Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas signed his restricted free-agent contract on Thursday after the Giants previously made a second-round qualifying offer on March 16. The 2018 Pro Bowler has made 62 of 75 field-goal attempts (82.7 percent) and is 86-for-94 on extra points in 48 regular season games for the Giants. He made 32 of his 33 kicks in 2018, which was the fifth highest total in team history, and his 97 field-goal percentage was a Giants record. However, he attempted only 17 field goals in 2019 and made 12 of them, while making 35 of his 39 extra points. Until New York's offense proves worthy under second-year quarterback Daniel Jones, Rosas should be avoided in most fantasy leagues.

From RotoBaller