Simultaneously resetting the quarterback market once again, Stafford’s five-year extension is supposed to surpass the five-year, $125 million extension Derek Carr signed back in June. Stafford’s payday is more than justified in my eyes due to his impressive track record of orchestrating efficient offenses and the statistics that support that claim, such as his ascension to second all-time with 278.0 passing yards per game. Not to mention, Stafford is durable, as he’s started every game since 2011. He might not remain the highest paid player in NFL history for long though, as the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Kirk Cousins could all command higher wages in the near future.
It wasn’t a good night for Giants receivers during Monday’s exhibition in Cleveland, as both Odell Beckham (ankle) and Brandon Marshall (shoulder) exited with injuries. While it initially doesn’t sound as if either is dealing with any sort of long-term problem, nothing is for certain, so we’ll need to monitor their statuses throughout the week to determine whether they’ll suit up for the all-important third preseason game Saturday against the Jets. If they ultimately don’t play, Sterling Shepard will likely be the apple of Eli Manning’s eye and could make for an intriguing DFS play against a suspect Jets secondary. Rookie tight end Evan Engram could see a lot of work, too.
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn revealed starting running back Devonta Freeman, who exited Sunday’s practice with a previously undisclosed issue, has entered concussion protocol and won’t be available for this week’s preseason matchup with the Steelers. If you play preseason DFS, that means Tevin Coleman will get the start Sunday. However, Freeman and Coleman combined for only two carries last week against the Dolphins so smarter plays would figure to be Terron Ward and Brian Hill, who received 11 and nine carries, respectively. Though Ward is probably the favorite to win out, that latter pair is seemingly jockeying for the No. 3 RB job in Atlanta – which would obviously become very relevant if something were to happen to Freeman or Coleman – and both should again see plenty of opportunities to prove themselves. On his 11 attempts in Miami, Ward logged 48 yards (4.36 YPC) and a touchdown while Hill, who’s the team’s fifth-rounder out of Wyoming if you’re wondering, gained just 10 yards on his 9 attempts (1.11 YPC).
To think the football gods didn’t hate the Jets enough already, down goes Quincy Enunwa, who was ruled out for the season Monday as a result of the neck injury he sustained Saturday. Fortunately, this isn’t supposed to be a career-threatening issue as Enunwa was given a six- to nine-month timetable to return and should be back in full force next year. However, in combination with the departures of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, Monday’s development leaves the Jets with 255 targets from last season’s offense unaccounted for. Not to mention, Robby Anderson now sits atop the depth chart with ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen and Charone Peake filling the spots under him until Jalin Marshall returns from a four-game suspension. Alongside them is TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who — at 6-foot-5, 262 pounds — possesses a much larger frame than any of the aforementioned pass catchers and could become a serious factor in the red zone.
NFL coaches rarely hold full-contact, tackle-to-the-ground types of practices nowadays because it’s not usually worth the risk of exposing players to increased odds of preseason injuries. However, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase decided to go old school Monday and his starting running back, Jay Ajayi, took a pounding before leaving the field for good to be evaluated for a concussion. Now the Boise State product is out indefinitely until he clears the league-mandated protocol for head injuries and, until he returns, Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams will take over as the lead runners in Miami. While Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald reported the team is looking to add another quality tailback to the mix so to further bolster their depth at the position, Ajayi should still return as the unquestioned workhorse when physically able – though Monday’s incident should nonetheless remind the fantasy community of the risks that come along with his physical style of running.
Unless you’re a Cowboys or Cardinals fan, your favorite professional football team hasn’t opened training camp to its veterans yet. However, it’s only a matter of days until they do and that means Week 1 is right around the corner. Without further ado, here’s what you need to know going forward: