Welcome to Friday. I hope you didn't have much planned for today as we've got new articles for you plus updated apps plus the News and Notes you need.
We kick it off with a look at Melvin Gordon's value after the holdout talk came out yesterday.
A Close Look at Melvin Gordon's Value
On Wednesday morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that Gordon had informed the Chargers that "unless he receives a new contract, he will not report to training camp and will demand a trade." What does that mean for Gordon's fantasy value? What if you are drafting right now? Our Sigmund Bloom dives in.
Gordon is playing on his fifth-year option in 2019 with a fully guaranteed, one-year salary of $5.6 million. Looking around the league, we can't imagine any team too interested in trading for him. Gordon is a good starter, but he's only played a full 16-game regular season once (2017) in his career. Trading for and then paying close to top dollar for a running back doesn't sound like a plan for success. We think the Chargers end up getting something done, but Gordon might miss time in training camp and perhaps even into the preseason.
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle reminds QB Jimmy Garoppolo a lot of Rob Gronkowski - both on and off the field - according to Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News.'There are a lot of similarities - on the field and a little bit off the field, too. George is tremendous. The energy he brings every day, how he goes about his business - he's always having fun while he's doing it. Very similar to Gronk, they both enjoy what they do. It makes everything more enjoyable. It's fun to be around, and it's contagious. To have a guy like that makes our team so much closer as well as much better,' Garoppolo said.
Kittle had a huge breakout season in 2018, catching 88 passes for 1,377 yards and five touchdowns. It will be interesting to see what he can do for an encore this year, especially if Garoppolo stays healthy. Fantasy GMs expecting 80 catches and around 1,000 receiving yards aren't too far off in their projections. Kittle has a current ADP of TE3 (3.09) in 12-team PPR leagues.
Watch this competition unfold in training camp. The Eagles have Jordan Howard as their lead back, but he's not going to be targeted that much in the passing game. Rookie Miles Sanders could be the primary backup and change-of-pace back...if he can prove to be more capable than a guy like Clement. Stay tuned as the No. 2 running back in Philly could have flex appeal in PPR leagues.
Henderson has a low center of gravity and can run inside better than some think. We'll see if he can beat out Cannon for perhaps the final spot in the RB depth chart. The Jets are stacked at the position with Le'Veon Bell, Eli McGuire, Ty Montgomery and Bilal Powell (in addition to Henderson and Cannon). We'll see this pecking order behind Bell established in the preseason.
Hopkins is one of the most consistent superstars in the league, regardless of position. In 2018 he had 11 games of 10+ targets with seven 100-yard games. That consistency and elite skill set makes him the top fantasy WR once again. It's not crazy to pick Hopkins up with a top-5 pick in any format. Hopkins has a current ADP of WR1 (1.06) in 12-team PPR leagues.
Thomas should have never fallen to the second round of the draft. He's simply one of the best and brightest stars in the NFL today. In late June, Thomas and the Saints were trying to get a new deal done that would make him one of the highest paid receivers in the league. Thomas has a current ADP is WR3 (1.10) in 12-team PPR leagues.
Elliott is one of the best backs in the game, and he certainly could be on a Hall of Fame track -- even after just three seasons as a pro. If he stays healthy and stays out of trouble, Elliott will continue to produce at a high level. We'll see if the Cowboys work out a long-term contract with Elliott that makes him one of the highest paid running backs in the league. He's under contract through 2020 and could be a candidate for a franchise tag in 2021 if no deal is done.
Watson is a touchdown machine and one of the best young quarterbacks in the game. Fantasy GMs are over the moon about what the Texans passing game can be in 2019, especially if everyone stays healthy. Watson has a current ADP of QB4 (5.11) in 12-team PPR leagues.
Denver Broncos TEs Jeff Heuerman and Noah Fant will compete for the starting tight end job during training camp, but Heuerman will enter camp as the clear favorite for the job, in the opinion of 9News.com's Mike Klis.
Heuerman is the veteran the team brought back as a free agent earlier this year. Fant is their first-round pick from the 2019 NFL draft and he's the future of the position. Joe Flacco loves to throw to the tight end and this Shanahan/Kubiak offense under new OC Rich Scangarello is going to be tight end friendly. We think Fant should win the job and provides upside as a low-end TE2 for Fantasy GMs.
Butt has been limited this offseason. He's coming back from the third knee injury of his football career. Butt has looked good in limited action this offseason but clearly is an injury risk. If healthy, he should be in the mix behind Jeff Heuerman and rookie Noah Fant.
We'll watch Simms in deep dynasty formats. Scouts loved his natural talent, but there were some character concerns according to reports that kept him from getting selected in the Supplemental Draft on Wednesday. He's a good vertical threat who can work as a return man as well. Simms had 46 catches for 699 yards and two touchdowns last season for the Mountaineers.
We'll monitor Alie-Cox in dynasty formats. The former basketball player from Virginia Commonwealth has been running as the first-team tight end in OTAs and minicamp with both Eric Ebron (groin) and Jack Doyle (hip) recovering from injuries. This offseason has been full of positive reports about Alie-Cox, and Fantasy GMs in dynasty leagues need to know that Eric Ebron is in the final year of his deal with the Colts.
Arizona Cardinals WR Hakeem Butler was listed as the 'potential breakout performer' among the team's receivers and tight ends by The Arizona Republic's Bob McManaman, who writes that Butler's size, speed and intangibles could make him the surprise player 'of the entire bunch.' McManaman also lists Butler's offseason work with retired WR Calvin Johnson as a reason he could make an impact in 2019.
A Matt Waldman favorite, Butler has great measurables, elite skill in contested situations, and excellent power and balance as a runner after the catch. He knows how to use his frame to box out smaller defenders and Butler does a good job of getting two-feet down near the sideline or the back of the end zone. We love his stock in dynasty formats.
Arizona Cardinals WR Chad Williams is unlikely to make the 53-man roster, according to The Arizona Republic's Bob McManaman, who writes that even if the team carries seven receivers it's 'doubtful' that Williams would be on the list.
A third-round pick out of Grambling State in the 2017 NFL draft, Williams has had plenty of time to develop in the pros, but he's only played in 16 games over two seasons. Williams might be shopped this summer as the Cardinals are jam-packed at the WR position. Rookies KeeSean Johnson, Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler should round out the depth chart behind Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.