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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
The Las Vegas Raiders will head on the road to take on the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14's Thursday night game. The Raiders defense will be in an excellent spot in Week 14 as the Rams' quarterback will either be John Wolford or Baker Mayfield, who they just signed off of waivers on Tuesday. Either way, Las Vegas should turn in a big fantasy outing against a Rams offense that ranks 29th in the league with just 16.8 points per game and 30th with 308.7 yards per game. The Raiders can be trusted as a top-eight fantasy defense heading into Thursday night.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is expected to receive the franchise tag by the deadline on Tuesday absent a new deal, but the two sides will continue talking over the coming days in hopes of reaching a long-term contract extension. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler writes that there's a feeling inside the league that Winfield would reset the safety market in a new deal, either with the Bucs or as a free agent. Winfield was exceptional in 2023, finishing with 122 tackles, six sacks, six forced fumbles and three interceptions. In addition to Winfield, Tampa has other big decisions coming with receiver Mike Evans, quarterback Baker Mayfield and linebacker Lavonte David all hitting free agency. Winfield, where he's playing in 2024, should be a top safety target in IDP fantasy drafts this fall.
The Buffalo Bills plan to release running back Nyheim Hines (knee) this week, according to a source. Hines most likely will be back for training camp this summer after injuring his ACL last summer, but he'll be doing it with a different team. Hines injured his ACL during a jet-ski accident last July and was forced to miss all of the 2023 season as a result. The 27-year-old former fourth-round pick by the Indianapolis Colts in 2018 out of North Carolina State spent the 2022 season with the Bills and Colts, carrying the ball just 24 times for 33 yards and a touchdown while adding 30 receptions for 241 yards and another score through the air in 16 games (five starts). At this stage of his career, Hines will most likely be competing for a complementary pass-catching role with whichever team he lands with next.
ESPN's Dan Graziano isn't as convinced as most people that quarterback Dak Prescott will get a lucrative contract extension from the Dallas Cowboys. His current salary cap number for 2024 is $59.455 million, which is huge, and an extension would be the obvious way to reduce that number. However, Prescott has a lot of leverage with one year left on his current deal and a clause in his contract that prohibits the team from franchising him. The 30-year-old hasn't made it easy on Dallas in the past, either. If the two sides don't make progress on a deal, the Cowboys could save around $18.5 million in cap space by converting Prescott's 2024 salary into a signing bonus without adding any more void years. However, doing that would result in Dallas carrying a cap charge of around $55 million on Prescott in 2025.
ESPN's Dan Graziano writes that some thought early this week that a trade down out of the No. 3 overall pick in this year's NFL draft was possible for the New England Patriots, but by the end of the week, the sense seemed to be that the Patriots would stay put and take one of the top three quarterbacks -- USC's Caleb Williams, North Carolina's Drake Maye and LSU's Jayden Daniels. Taking a QB at No. 3 overall wouldn't preclude New England from pursuing a veteran signal-caller such as former Patriot Jacoby Brissett in free agency, in case they decide it doesn't want to rush the rookie prospect they take at No. 3. After two straight poor seasons running the Patriots' offense, New England is fully expected to move on from Mac Jones this offseason.
The Washington Commanders have received trade inquiries from teams on the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft. These inquiries might not be hard, actionable offers, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, but there is interest from teams in moving up. Among the clubs that could be on the quarterback radar are the New York Giants (No. 6 overall pick), Atlanta Falcons (No. 8), Minnesota Vikings (No. 11) and the Las Vegas Raiders (No. 13). However, Fowler writes that he would be surprised if the Commanders, who are themselves looking to upgrade at the position over Sam Howell, moved off the No. 2 overall pick. The Bears are expected to take USC QB Caleb Williams first overall, with North Carolina's Drake Maye and LSU's Jayden Daniels being prime QB prospects to come off the board at No. 2 overall.
The Minnesota Vikings have made an effort to re-sign edge rusher Danielle Hunter. He had 16.5 sacks last season and has 27 total sacks over the last two years, so he could be the top edge rusher on the market this offseason and would likely generate interest from multiple teams. Most of Minnesota's attention has been focused on find out whether they can keep quarterback Kirk Cousins (Achilles), but Hunter also deserves a lot of focus. Most teams are expecting Hunter to at least be searching for a pretty massive price range for his next deal, something well north of $20 million per season. The 29-year-old's production has matched it, as he has averaged 14 sacks in his past four healthy seasons. Assuming good health, Hunter should be a weekly starting defensive lineman in IDP fantasy leagues, regardless of where he's playing in 2024.
New England Patriots personnel leader Eliot Wolf and newly hired Alonzo Highsmith both played a pivotal role in drafting quarterback Baker Mayfield first overall five years ago when they were with the Cleveland Browns, which has ESPN's Jeremy Fowler connecting the dots and suggesting that the Patriots could look to sign Mayfield in free agency this offseason. The Patriots could sign a veteran signal-caller like Mayfield and then trade the third overall pick in this year's NFL draft for more draft capital, which is desperately needed. If the Minnesota Vikings end up re-signing quarterback Kirk Cousins (Achilles) to a long-term extension, Mayfield will be the top free-agent QB on the market after his career-best season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2023.
ESPN's Dan Graziano writes that the sense he's getting is that the Minnesota Vikings want impending quarterback Kirk Cousins (Achilles) to return, but Cousins has a very specific idea in mind for what he wants in a new contract, and the Vikings so far have not made an offer that matches it. Cousins and his family like Minnesota and would be happy to stay and finish his career there, but it doesn't sound like he's willing to offer the team a hometown discount. If the Vikings don't sign him to an extension before the final four years of his contract void on March 12, they will carry a $28.5 million dead-money charge on their salary cap this year and Cousins will be on the open market for the second time in his career. If he reaches free agency, several teams are expected to be interested in the veteran signal-caller despite coming off a torn Achilles last year, including the Atlanta Falcons.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the likely teams left in the sweepstakes for Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields are the Pittsburgh Steelers and Las Vegas Raiders. Unless the Bears wait for Minnesota Vikings impending free-agent Kirk Cousins to sign, they might just take the Steelers' best offer in a trade. However, the Raiders, in their attempt to upgrade the QB position over Aidan O'Connell through free agency, the draft or a trade, can't be ruled out. The Raiders still have All-Pro wideout Davante Adams, but RB Josh Jacobs is a free agent and may not return, which could give Fields limited options if he joins the Raiders. It will most likely take a second- or third-rounder to land Fields, who still has plenty of QB1 upside in fantasy because of his elite rushing ability. However, to take the next step, the 24-year-old needs to improve his field vision and passing accuracy. At this point, it would be a surprise if Fields isn't playing somewhere other than Chicago in 2024.
The Atlanta Falcons are clearly seeking a quarterback upgrade this offseason over Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke. Some folks think they may be the favorites to trade for Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields, but ESPN's Adam Schefter also says they are interested in Minnesota Vikings impending free-agent QB Kirk Cousins (Achilles), despite the fact he tore his right Achilles on Oct. 29 and is 35 years old. Cousins has made encouraging progress from the injury, though, and expects to be ready for organized team activities and minicamp this spring. Despite his age and injury, he's expected to be the best available option on the free-agent market, and he'd certainly be an upgrade over Ridder/Heinicke with a strong RB in place in Bijan Robinson and intriguing receiving options in Drake London and Kyle Pitts. Still, Cousins' fantasy value will likely remain the highest as a low-end QB1/high-end QB2 if he stays in Minnesota.
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