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The Baltimore Ravens agreed to a one-year, $3 million fully guaranteed deal with defensive end Derek Wolfe on Saturday. Wolfe can earn $3 million more in incentives. He chose Baltimore over the Texans. One of the strongest defenses in the league gets even stronger on their defensive line with the Wolfe signing. The 30-year-old was a second-round pick of the Broncos in 2012. Despite playing in just 12 games due to injury in 2019, he racked up a career-high seven sacks while recording 34 tackles (23 solo), eight tackles for loss, 12 QB hits and one forced fumble. Wolfe can be effective in doses for Baltimore, but he isn't all that attractive in IDP leagues, especially at his age.
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones saw most of his success in 2019 between the tackles, as he tied for the league lead with 10 touchdowns on inside runs and averaged 4.1 yards per rush on runs inside the tackles in the red zone, which was the most in the NFL among those with at least 15 such runs. Jones' 53 runs on which he hit 15-plus mph were the fourth-most in the NFL. The 25-year-old had his first 1,000-yard rushing season on 236 carries last year and led the league with 16 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 49 passes for 474 yards and three TDs. Even though he might not see an RB1 workload with second-rounder A.J. Dillon now in the mix, Jones is a high-end RB2 at the worst with RB1 upside.
Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake enjoyed plenty of success in the desert in 2019 after being traded from the Dolphins. He nearly doubled his 15-plus mph rush rate when he came to the Cardinals, going from 14.9 percent of rushes in Miami to 26.8 percent in Arizona. Drake rushed the ball 123 times in Arizona and hit 15-plus mph on more than a fourth of those attempts, while he carried the ball just 47 times in Miami. The 26-year-old was a top-five running back while in Arizona for a partial season. And now that the team moved on from David Johnson, Drake surely has RB1 upside in Arizona in an offense that should be able to put up plenty of points.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said that 12 personnel, featuring two tight ends on the field, is "our base offense" heading into the 2020 season. Arians also likes 13 personnel with a third tight end in the mix. This doesn't come as a surprise at all after Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement to join Tampa, and they've also kept both O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate around. The presence of three tight ends might make it difficult for any one of them to really stand out, but we figure that Tom Brady will lean the most on his old buddy in Gronk. Of the three, he's obviously the most attractive as a high-end TE2 with injury risk. Howard is worth a flier as a low-end TE2 with some upside, while Brate will likely be a lightly used red-zone weapon.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II is a candidate for a contract extension, but he's not really worried about that amid the coronavirus pandemic. Robinson is still due $15 million against the salary cap in 2021 as well. And because of COVID-19, things could look different for the salary cap, which could mean less available money under the cap and Robinson getting a smaller amount on an extension. On the football side of things, Robinson said quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has been throwing to him four times a week. The best scenario for A-Rob's fantasy value is for Nick Foles to win the starting gig under center, which is expected. In an offense without a lot of other playmakers, Robinson should see all the targets he can handle, making him a low-end WR1.
San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert hit 20-plus mph on four rushes last season, putting him in elite company among ball-carriers, as only seven players reached that benchmark. And Mostert did it with fewer total carries than anyone. He averaged a maximum speed of 13.75 mph on his touches in 2019, which is the highest mark among all running backs in the NFL with a minimum of 100 touches. Mostert did his best work in the playoffs in the run to the Super Bowl, but Kyle Shanahan prefers a committee backfield, which will limit Mostert's fantasy upside despite his abilities as a runner. Unless his usage suddenly goes up, which is unlikely, Mostert is more of a high-end RB3/low-end RB2.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was the most explosive runner in the league in 2019 based on runs of 10-plus yards (47), 10-plus run percentage (26.7) and 15-plus mph percentage (52.8). He did that on 176 total carries. Jackson was named the 2019 MVP in large part because defenses just couldn't stop him when he took off with the football. His total of 15-plus mph runs of 93 were 20 more than the next closest runner in the league (Dalvin Cook). It was a great season for Jackson, but you'd be wise to expect at least some regression in 2020. But even if Jackson regresses some following his MVP campaign, his upside is through the roof. Either Jackson or Patrick Mahomes will be the first fantasy QB taken in drafts.
The Carolina Panthers released tight end Seth DeValve on Wednesday, citing a non-football injury, according to a league source. DeValve was a fourth-round pick by the Browns in 2016 out of Princeton. He played in 12 games (six starts) for the Jaguars last year, totaling 12 receptions on 18 targets for 140 scoreless yards. In his four years in the NFL, the 27-year-old has 60 catches on 95 targets for 736 yards (12.3 yards per catch) and four touchdowns. DeValve has never really been on the fantasy radar, even in deeper leagues, and he is unlikely to do so if he latches on with another team this summer.
Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt has been impressed by star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. this offseason. In a press conference with reporters on Wednesday, Van Pelt said that OBJ is "all in" and has been a "model guy" during the team's virtual offseason program. Drama tends to follow Beckham wherever he goes, so it is good news that he is getting along well with his new offensive coordinator. Beckham struggled in 2019, his first season with the Browns. He dealt with an injury during training camp and had a hard time developing chemistry with quarterback Baker Mayfield. Beckham is still rehabbing after having core muscle surgery back in January but is fully expected to be ready for the start of the 2020 season. He can be treated as an upside WR2 in fantasy drafts this summer.
Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt told reporters on Wednesday that he expects a big bounce-back season from tight end David Njoku in 2020. Van Pelt elaborated by stating that Njoku has been great during meetings in the team's virtual program this offseason. Njoku fell out of favor with former head coach Freddie Kitchens in 2019 while also missing most of the season with a fractured wrist. The athletic tight end has also struggled with inconsistency and drops during his three-year career but he can still be a difference-maker at the position if he's able to put it all together. That being said, he will have to fight for targets in a crowded tight end corps that includes top free-agent signing Austin Hooper.
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry led the NFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns last season and was a key piece of the team's attack down the stretch, but offensive coordinator Arthur Smith says that Henry's 2020 workload will "depend [on] how games go." Smith went on to add that the team wants to make sure other guys get touches as well. It makes sense to reduce Henry's workload some to keep him healthy and rested for the stretch run, as last season he led the NFL in rushing attempts. He's still a fantasy RB1 -- and has the potential to be the overall RB1 in standard-scoring leagues by the end of the year -- but his ceiling could be limited somewhat if Darrynton Evans gets a larger percentage of the touches than Dion Lewis did last season.
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