While Day 2 of the NFL Draft doesn’t carry the pomp and circumstance of Day 1, there never seems to be any shortage of talent. A big part of that is the inevitable slide of a few first-round worthy players that seemingly occurs each year for a variety of reasons, and 2017 had two particularly prominent cases in the form of running backs Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon. Besides those recognizable names, there were several other college standouts that were snapped up Friday night, so let’s dive in and look at some that could potentially accrue fantasy relevance in the coming season:
Free agency has picked up a nice second wind over the last two days, with Thursday bringing a couple of fairly notable signings and visits on the offensive side of the ball, as well as a big name on defense finding a new home. Let’s dive into what changed in the NFL landscape over the last 24 hours:
The NFL has rightfully gained a reputation of having a 365-day-a-year news cycle, and Wednesday served as a fitting example. On what was the sixth full day of the new league year and free agency period, transactions were still transpiring at a fairly brisk clip around the league. Here’s a more in-depth look at who landed where Wednesday and very early Thursday:
It was the proverbial Lazy Sunday on the NFL landscape, particularly as compared to the frenetic pace of the first two-plus days of the league’s annual shopping extravaganza. However, despite the relative quiet, there were still a few new deals reached between late Saturday and Sunday, including one on the defensive side of the ball. Additionally, there are rumblings of upcoming visits for a couple of top-shelf names at the running back position, raising the level of intrigue as to their eventual destination. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the latest happenings in the NFL offseason:
Although there naturally were plenty of fireworks on Day 1 of free agency Thursday, there was no shortage of spillover on Friday, with some teams turning their attention to resigning and restructuring some of their own in addition to grabbing more players off the open market. Additionally, the perpetually active Super Bowl champs consumated a major trade that’s been rumored to be in the works for some time, and some teams burned the midnight oil Thursday and inked a handful of late-night deals. Here’s a more in-depth look at how the NFL landscape was altered over the last 18 hours or so:
With the official start of the new league year mere hours away, teams continued to take full advantage of the legal tampering period Wednesday to firm up possible commitments from free agents, sign players already released outright, secure some of their own pending departures through either re-signings or the re-structuring of existing contracts, and, in one case, even come to terms on a trade. Without further ado, here’s a look at how some of the notable NFL dominos fell Wednesday:
Coming off a 22-homer, 106-RBI season at age 32, Morales certainly looked like he had plenty in the tank heading into this season. Most of the first two months of the 2016 campaign appeared to dispel that notion however, as the veteran’s average sat at .191 as recently as June 5. Morales awoke from his slumber at that point and hasn’t looked back. He’s raised his average 64 points since that date, while hitting safely in 15 of 18 games over that span. That stretch includes a pair of three-hit and four-hit efforts, along with four homers, four doubles and 16 RBI.
Morales sports one of baseball’s hottest bats over the last five games in particular, during which he’s hit .650 (13-for-20) with a double, two homers, five RBI and five runs. The month of June has seen him generate a .386/.440/.590 line overall, salvaging a season that looked beyond repair at one point. While the majority of Morales’ offensive numbers are still in rehabilitative mode, they’re firmly on the road back to getting in line with his career averages. His strikeout rate remains a tad on the elevated side for his standards, as his current 19.2 percent figure is his highest since 2012, but his hard contact rate is encouragingly up to 37.9 percent, which matches his previous career high with the Angels in 2009. He’s held on to some favorable spots in the heart of the Royals’ order as well despite his struggles, as Morales has hit either third (once), cleanup or fifth in 57 of the 71 games he’s appeared in.
Given his track record and ascension back towards his solid career numbers, he currently makes for an appealing option in virtually any format.
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