– The Bills announced Nathan Peterman will be their starter this week in Baltimore. This decision is likely due to Josh Allen being a rookie and the Bills facing a tough first-half schedule including five of the first seven games being on the road. Baltimore is a great streaming option if they’re somehow available in your league (possibly 10-teamers) and are likely the chalkiest play for DFS this week. The Bills are also planning on having the recently released Paxton Lynch work out for them on Tuesday. If he signs with the Bills this may look like a wise move on their part getting a quarterback on the same talent level as AJ McCarron who was dealt over the weekend for a fifth round pick.
– Odell Beckham Jr. was given a five-year extension values at $95 million with $65 million guaranteed making him the highest-paid wideout in the NFL. This move makes a ton of sense for both parties as the Giants lock up their most talented player and Beckham doesn’t have to have this on his mind going into the season. Look for Beckham to be one of the elite fantasy wide receivers this season provided he stays healthy.
– Marquise Lee was officially placed on IR ending his season. The “next man up” will likely be Keelan Cole or Donte Moncrief who both make for nice late round picks. Cole had a nice four-game stretch towards the end of the season with 19 catches for 442 yard and three touchdowns. Moncrief received $9.6 million guaranteed to become a Jaguar in the offseason and is the biggest wide receiver they have at 6-2, 220 lbs.
– Andrew Luck suffered a minor injury during his preseason game over the weekend. Coach Frank Reich said he could play this week if they had a game and Luck could be back to practice as soon as today. For now, this is nothing to worry about.
– Rashaad Penny (finger) could play in Thursday’s preseason game. Chris Carson appears to have the starting role and should get the bulk of the carries against a tough Denver defense. However, this could be a situation that as Penny’s finger gets better Penny will see his role increase. Doug Baldwin also participated in practice and is on track to be ready for Week 1.
– Rishard Matthews, just activated from PUP list, practice Monday for the first time this season. Matthews is expected to be active for the Titans opener against the Dolphins and should line up opposite Corey Davis for Tennessee.
– Robby Anderson is still waiting to hear about a possible suspension from the NFL. Two arrests in nine months could see the speedy wideout suspended to open the season but the NFL appears to be dragging their feet on the case. If you’re an owner keep your fingers crossed he avoids any missed time.
– According to Hue Jackson, Josh Gordon won’t start Week 1 even if he’s 100 percent healthy. Note that this doesn’t in any way rule Gordon out Week 1 it merely means he won’t be on the field for the first snap. Chances are he may see a reduced workload but could see a higher percentage of targets to snaps when he is on the field. He’s likely a boom-or-bust play against the Steelers for the Browns’ home opener.
– DeVante Parker still cannot catch a football. At this point he’s been limited to conditioning drills and his Week 1 status is up in the air. The good news for Parker is Ryan Tannehill has looked good during his preseason games going 11-for-16 for 115 and a touchdown over the weekend against the Ravens.
When considering pitchers for DFS it’s tough to determine if a newly acquired pitcher through trade is going to come through the first start for their new team when they take the mound. Here’s a list of pitchers this season and how they’ve fared.
Kevin Gausman – 5 IPs, 6 hits, 3 ERs and 2Ks (L)
Nathan Eovaldi – 7 IPs, 4 hits, 0 ERs and 5 Ks (W)
Chris Archer – 4.1 IPs, 7 hits, 3 ERs and 6Ks (ND)
Cole Hamels – 5 IPs, 3 hits, 0 ERs and 9Ks (W)
J.A. Happ – 6 IPs, 3 hits, 1 ER and 2Ks (W)
Mike Fiers – 5.1 IPs, 4 hits, 1 ER and 8Ks (ND)
Lance Lynn – 7.1 IPs, 2 hits, 0 ERs and 9Ks (W) *His first start, not his first appearance
The totals from these seven starts are 40 innings, eight earned runs and 41 strikeouts. Or put in another way, a 1.80 ERA with a 9.2Ks/9IP. That’s pretty good.
While this isn’t a big sample to say definitively that pitchers do good in their first start for a new team after being traded, it is an interesting dynamic to look into. It’s worth noting too that Lynn, Eovaldi, Hamels, Archer (especially for Coors) and Gausman all had excellent second starts as well.
Here’s a quick look from a quiet Monday around the league:
– Saquon Barkley was the latest to suffer a leg injury although the Giants are calling it a mild hamstring strain. He was injured on a play trying to catch a downfield pass and was later seen with a wrap on the leg. For now owners shouldn’t worry but Barkley could be sidelined a few days this week and possibly Friday’s preseason game as a result.
– Rashaad Penny left practice early with an injury thought to be minor. Brian Schottenheimer said he doesn’t think it’s anything serious meaning this shouldn’t linger or cause any panic for his owners. However, Penny’s presence on the field is critical for him to make a push for the starting running back job which appears to be heading towards some kind of a timeshare between him and Chris Carson.
– The 49ers signed Alfred Morris (pending a physical) to add running back depth with both Matt Breida and Jerick McKinnon banged up. Morris averaged 4.8 yards per carry last season as a Cowboy but would need an injury to either one of his two new teammates to get any touches in the San Francisco offense. Morris once again in on a team coached by Kyle Shanahan, the two of whom are very familiar with each other from their days in Washington.
– Roquan Smith ended his holdout and signed a four-year deal Monday with the Bears. The deal is worth $18 million guaranteed with $11 million in bonuses. In case you haven’t seen him play, this guy is an absolute beast who will make an immediate impact in IDP leagues. This will help bolster a Bears defense that needs help if they plan on contending in the NFC North.
– In quarterback news it appears Chad Kelly has moved ahead of Paxton Lynch to the backup quarterback spot. Fans in Denver love Lynch so much someone started a GoFundMe page to buyout Lynch’s contract and drive him out of town. Sam Bradford is expected to play more than one series in New Orleans although Josh Rosen is expected to get a series with the first string as well. Right now Bradford appears to be the favorite to be under center Week 1 but there are several paths to Rosen finding playing time this season.
– Sam Darnold went ahead an signed his rookie contract ending his holdout and promptly reported to camp. The deal is worth $30.2 million that includes a $20 million signing bonus and is fully guaranteed, a nice payday for most. This is a clear indication that he’ll likely take over at some point this season but there’s still a strong possibility that Josh McCown is under center Week 1.
– The big news Monday was that Josh Gordon was placed on the non-football injury list and left the Browns. Gordon tweeted out that this absence was part of his treatment plan to maintain his health. There’s no evidence he failed a drug test or violated some policy so it would appear no suspension is in his future. This looks to be some scheduled maintenance for the talented wideout as he prepares for the upcoming season. This shouldn’t impact his draft status for now; he’s currently going around pick #50 in fantasy drafts.