The Week in NFL News - 4/1

A look at the biggest moves from the last week and why they matter in fantasy leagues.

AFC

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens signed Sammy Watkins (1/$5M), finally addressing wide receiver in a free agent period that surely saw them aiming higher at the open of the legal tampering period. Watkins talent is unquestioned, but his ability to stay on the field has been a problem throughout his career, and he was a nonfactor for fantasy the last two seasons, even when Tyreek Hill was sidelined. That makes it impossible to see him achieving fantasy relevance in this low volume pass offense, but he represents a big upgrade in experience and ability at outside receiver opposite Marquise Brown. It would be considered a bigger hit to Brown’s value if Watkins had been consistent over the last two seasons, but it’s just as likely that Watkins remains a nonfactor for fantasy in Baltimore and Brown remains the only fantasy relevant receiver in the Ravens offense.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills signed Matt Breida (1/$1M) to add speed to their backfield. The running game underwhelmed last year, but Breida isn’t exactly a shot in the arm. His contract only has $140,000 guaranteed, so he’s no sure thing to make the team, and his role won’t rise above committee back. General manager Brandon Beane is unlikely to spend a top 100 pick on a running back for third straight draft, but we will still pay close attention if Clemson back Travis Etienne is still on the board at #30. It looks like the backfield will be a committee, which probably means we’ll avoid it after both Devin Singletary and Zack Moss were busts at ADP last year.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars re-signed safety Josh Jones. He started for them last year and he could win a starting spot again next to Rayshawn Jenkins, who the team signed to a big contract (4/$35M) earlier in free agency. Jones should stay on your radar if you play in deep IDP leagues.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs snapped up defensive tackle Jarran Reed (1/$7M) after the Seahawks had to release him to open up cap room. His value could increase lining up next to Chris JonesDaniel Sorensen (1/$2.5M), a key piece of the secondary, was brought back on a very cheap deal for a nearly full-time player… Austin Blythe (1/$1M) signed for peanuts despite being a quality starter for the Rams last year. The Chiefs interior offensive line will be a lot better in 2021.

Las Vegas Raiders

Willie Snead IV (1/$1M) added depth to a wide receiver group that should be solid if Bryan Edwards and Henry Ruggs III develop in year two. Snead will compete with Hunter Renfrow and Kenyan Drake for slot snaps in an offense that was well below league average in three wide receiver sets in 2020.

Los Angeles Chargers

Chase Daniel (1/$1.5M) was signed to likely be the team’s backup quarterback to Justin Herbert with athletic 2019 fifth round pick Easton Stick developing as the third quarterback.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins completed a pair of trades:

2021 pick #3 to San Francisco for 2021 pick #12, San Francisco’s 2022 first and third round picks, and San Francisco’s 2023 first round pick

2021 pick #12, 2021 pick #156, and Miami’s 2022 first round pick to Philadelphia for 2021 pick #6 and 2021 pick #123

For a deeper look into the implications of the trades, go here. The big picture here is that the Dolphins smartly harvested the value from having the third pick in a four (or even five) quarterback draft while not immediately needing a quarterback. They moved back up to#6 from #12 because they wanted to be assured of a top three non-quarterback on their board, and we can assume that they felt comfortable with any of the three - perhaps Tua Tagovailoa’s college teammate wide receiver DeVonta Smith. They are committing to Tagovailoa this year and will add another offensive piece at #6 to help him. It’s also worth noting that the Dolphins are betting on themselves by sending their 2022 first, not San Francisco’s to the Eagles.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tyson Alualu had a change of heart and decided to return to the Steelers instead of returning to the Jaguars. His depth snaps on the defensive line were high quality and the Steelers would have had trouble replacing him.

NFC

Dallas Cowboys

Damontae Kazee (1/$1M) signed a bargain deal to be reunited with the coach that drafted him, Dan Quinn. Dallas was weighing Kazee and former Colt Malik Hooker. Kazee’s medicals were reportedly less worrisome. He should be a starter with his teammate from Atlanta Keanu Neal set to possibly split time between strong safety and weakside linebacker and Donovan Wilson also projecting as a box safety.

Minnesota Vikings

Xavier Woods (1/$1.75M) was signed to replace Anthony Harris, who left for Philadelphia in free agency after playing in Minnesota under the franchise tag last year. He was underrated performer in Dallas and should be a solid starter next to Harrison Smith. 2016 second round pick Mackenzie Alexander (1/$1.1M) returned to the team after signing with the Bengals for four million last year. Alexander can fit inside or outside and will compete with 2020 draft picks Cameron Dantzler (third round) and Jeff Gladney (first round) for playing time.

New York Giants

Danny Shelton (1/$1M) signed with the Giants, which is more evidence that general manager Dave Gettleman definitely has a type when it comes to defensive linemen. Shelton will help replace the run-stuffing presence lost when Dalvin Tomlinson signed with the Vikings.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles traded 2021 pick #6 and 2021 #123 to Miami for 2021 pick #12, 2021 pick #156, and Miami’s 2022 first round pick. The Eagles have enough holes on the roster that turning #6 into two first round assets is probably the best course of action, along with forgoing this year’s quarterback class to give Jalen Hurts a full season to show that he can be the team’s franchise quarterback. They should still get a top flight cornerback or wide receiver at 12.

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers traded 2021 pick #12, their 2022 first and third round picks and their 2023 first round pick to the Dolphins for 2021 pick #3.

Kyle Shanahan has made his move up the board for a quarterback. Some speculate that Alabama’s Mac Jones is the pick because he resembles athletically limited but solid pocket passing quarterbacks that Shanahan has had success with in the past. Shanahan seemed to shoot that down in his press conference this week when he said Cousins isn’t how you’d “draw it up” if you had your pick of quarterbacks. Ohio State’s Justin Fields and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance are athletically gifted and one of them will likely be the pick, assuming BYU’s Zach Wilson goes #2. The 49ers are insisting that Jimmy Garoppolo will stay on the roster despite his 25 million dollar cap hit, but Bill Belichick could always swoop in and make an offer.

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks made two moves to open up cap room, releasing defensive tackle Jarran Reed, who lost money when he demanded an extension when the Seahawks approached him about a restructure, and giving wide receiver Tyler Lockett a four-year, 69 million dollar extension with 37 million guaranteed, which in turn lowers his 2021 cap number, which was set to be nearly 15 million. With the newfound cap room they were able to bring back Carlos Dunlap (2/$16.6M), who was their best edge rusher in 2020 after being acquired from the Bengals for BJ Finney and a seventh-round pick. Al Woods (1/$3M) returned for his third stint with the Seahawks to help replace Reed.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Leonard Fournette (1/$3.25M) returned to the Bucs after unsuccessfully testing the free agent waters. Bruce Arians didn’t commit to a starter between Fournette and Ronald Jones II, so it’s fair to have them around the same uncertain week to week value and assume similar usage to last year, at least until Fournette was a healthy scratch. The team could still add a rookie early in the draft with both Fournette and Jones set to be free agents in 2022.

Washington Football Team

Adam Humphries signed with the Football Team to reunite with former Tampa Bay teammate Ryan Fitzpatrick, who helped him land a big contract with his previous team Tennessee. Washington can play Humphries in the slot and kick Curtis Samuel outside in three wide receiver sets to help revitalize this offense.


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