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Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott finished with only 12 carries for 31 yards during the Wild Card loss to San Francisco. The veteran couldn't get anything going, as evident by his atrocious 2.6 YPC. With the year behind him, he will look to get back on track next season. While he narrowly rushed for over 1,000 yards during the 2021-22 campaign, his days as a first-round fantasy option moving forward may be over, mainly based on some of his uneventful performances throughout his 17 appearances during the season. Elliott's health has also been an issue, and while it didn't cost him any time this season, it still severely negatively impacted his productivity.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (shoulder) didn't take part in the team's organized team activities last week, as expected, but he's expected to be good to go for training camp this summer. Higgins is no longer in a shoulder sling as he rehabs from labrum surgery in March. The 23-year-old should be ready for the start of the regular season as long as he doesn't suffer any setbacks in training camp. Higgins was even better in his sophomore season in 2021, recording his first 1,000-yard receiving season. When all was said and done in the regular season, he had 74 receptions on 110 targets for 1,091 yards and six touchdowns in 14 starts. Higgins should once again be highly coveted in fantasy drafts in Cincy's pass-happy offense.
The Cleveland Browns officially re-signed pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney to a one-year deal worth $11 million on Sunday, according to a source. The two sides agreed to terms on Wednesday, but they needed to finalize a few things before the deal became official. The 29-year-old has battled injuries throughout his career since being the first overall pick by the Houston Texans in 2014, but he is a difference-maker on the defensive side of the ball when he's healthy. Clowney, a three-time Pro Bowler, had 37 tackles (24 solo), 11 tackles for loss, 19 QB hits, nine sacks and two forced fumbles in 14 starts for the Browns last season. He will continue to wreak havoc alongside All-Pro pass-rusher Myles Garrett in 2022.
New England Patriots players are "alarmed" so far with what they've seen from the team's offensive coaching staff. "There is a high-level of concern about what is going on with the Patriots," Boston Sports Journal's Greg A. Bedard said. It's something to watch, but we shouldn't jump to conclusions just yet with head coach Bill Belichick's coaching staff. The Patriots never officially named a new offensive coordinator after Josh McDaniels left for the head-coaching job with the Las Vegas Raiders. This is a storyline to watch closely as we approach training camp this summer. Second-year quarterback Mac Jones figures to be affected the most by the team's offensive changes heading into the 2022 campaign.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles has been impressed with rookie wide receiver Jerreth Sterns, an undrafted free-agent pickup out of Western Kentucky. Sterns had 150 catches for 1,902 yards and 17 touchdowns in his final season in college and is expected to compete with Devin Thompkins and Kaylon Geiger for a spot on the team's active roster this summer in training camp. Sterns had a total of 370 catches for over 3,800 yards and 35 touchdowns in his collegiate career between Western Kentucky and Houston Baptist. Chris Godwin (knee) may not be ready for the start of the regular season, so the Bucs could have plenty of opportunity in the receivers room behind Mike Evans early in the year. Sterns is one to keep an eye on.
Free-agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney remains without a team, although there are plenty of clubs interested. However, the Browns remain hopeful the 2014 No. 1 overall pick will be back on the roster. Clowney, who has yet to log an entire season since entering the league, finished the 2021-22 campaign with 37 total tackles, nine sacks, and two forced fumbles. While Browns fans undoubtedly would love to see him return, he should remain a sought-after commodity for IDP managers for years to come, regardless of where he calls home this season.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Amari Rodgers finished his rookie year with only four catches (eight targets) for 45 yards. He also spent time as a return man on special teams. However, with a miserable inaugural season behind him, wide receivers coach Jason Vrabel recently touted Rodgers, stating, "he already looks faster and stronger than he ever did. He's in the best shape of his life." Unquestionably, the Packers are looking for someone to take over as the No. 1 option after Davante Adams was sent to Vegas. Though Rodgers may not be that person, he is worth consideration from managers looking to hit a home run very late in fantasy drafts ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Free-agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (knee) remains unsigned. Beckham, who is coming off surgery to repair a torn ACL suffered during the Super Bowl, will likely find a team at some point. However, speaking to NFL Network's Rich Eisen, Rams head coach Sean McVay stated he would like the 29-year-old back on the roster. The oft-injured wideout has unquestionably lost a step or two over the years. He will probably have plenty more impactful showings throughout the remainder of his career. Yet, his days as a consistent fantasy difference-maker are likely far behind him, regardless of where he's playing in 2022-23. If it's back in Los Angeles, Beckham will have to contend with Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson II, and Van Jefferson for the attention of Matthew Stafford.
Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert (knee) agreed to a one-year, $3.125 million contract in March after spending his previous six seasons in San Francisco. During Mostert's time in the Bay Area, he accumulated 1,610 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns and was a hit-or-miss fantasy option for years. However, with the deal, he will follow new Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, who served as the 49ers run game and offensive coordinator since 2017. The 30-year-old believes his familiarity with the offense will help him this season. Still, with Mostert working his way back from a season-ending knee injury in September, he'll also need to battle Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel, and Myles Gaskin for touches. As a result, the veteran's outlook isn't as bright, although he may have a few sufficient fantasy performances during the 2022-23 campaign.
New York Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney (knee) hasn't been a full participant at recent OTAs. The 23-year-old was observed wearing the infamous no-contact red jersey, although it was later revealed he hasn't practiced because of minor arthroscopic knee surgery. Fortunately, the 2021 first-round pick should be ready to roll by training camp. Toney, who was rumored to be on the trade block a few months ago, has a chance of establishing himself as the team's top wideout this season. Yet, having Daniel Jones under center may make accumulating fantasy points a challenge, regardless of his place on the depth chart.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson faces 22 civil lawsuits for alleged sexual misconduct. However, when speaking with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Watson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, reported that "no settlement talks are in the offing." The latest update adds another hurdle for the NFL and its investigation, primarily since individual cases likely won't happen immediately, making it much more challenging for the league to determine a potential punishment. It certainly doesn't suggest Watson will be off the hook. Yet, with potential trials delaying things, the veteran may be available for the 2022-23 campaign.
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