Each Monday (or sometimes on Tuesday), Aaron Larson (@aalarson) and Michael Stephenson (@DFF_MSte) examine the hottest NFL rumors and offer their insights as to any potential fantasy football implications they might have. So, grab your beverage or snack of choice and get ready to start the week off with some good old-fashioned fantasy football speculation
Rumor: Bears’ running back Jordan Howard has been catching 200-300 extra footballs after each practice.
Fantasy Fallout: Pass-catching has been a weakness in previous seasons for Howard as he has only caught 52 passes on 82 targets in his two-year career. He is working to become a better receiver, and if he can become a receiving threat in Matt Nagy’s revamped offense, Howard could perform as an elite running back in 2018.
Rumor: Buccaneers’ wide receiver Chris Godwin is poised to start outside opposite of Mike Evans, forcing DeSean Jackson to play primarily from the slot
Fantasy Fallout: Mike Evans is the number one receiver in Tampa Bay, and DeSean Jackson will still make his big plays from time to time, but Godwin has the opportunity to make an impact on the field in his second season. His current 14th round ADP and his huge upside make him a perfect late-round sleeper candidate.
Rumor: The Miami Dolphins will find creative ways to get Albert Wilson involved in the offense.
Fantasy Fallout: Wilson was a candidate fill the void left by Jarvis Landry as the number one slot receiver, but it appears Danny Amendola will take on that role in Miami. Wilson has big-play potential whenever he gets the ball in his hands, but he looks to be a boom or bust receiver that might be hard to trust week to week without a defined role in the offense.
Rumor: Andrew Luck felt “Tired and Exhausted” after his first game in almost 600 days.
Fantasy Fallout: Everyone is desperate for it to be ok to draft Luck again, and hopefully the pre-season is going to be enough to shake off the rust. Luck is going to be among the most closely watched by the fantasy community in the upcoming weeks. He is the deciding factor in the draftability of an entire offense worth of players in Indianapolis.
Rumor: Dez Bryant is visiting the Cleveland Browns
Fantasy Fallout: Just when you thought the Browns offense couldn’t be any worse for fantasy. Avoiding Browns is not a new concept, only this time it is because they are so vastly over-saturated with talent that picking a viable fantasy starter is impossible. Dez may not move like he used to, but he can be enough of a threat in the Red-Zone to give us all a fantasy headache.
Rumor: 49ers to sign Alfred Morris
Fantasy Fallout: Up until now Jerick Mckinnon has been drafted as if he were the only man in town in San Francisco. Alfred Morris has performed well under Kyle Shanahan before and will be a serviceable backup to Mckinnon, with the potential of cannibalizing short yardage work and perhaps even goal-line work. With Matt Breida missing the rest of pre-season, and Mckinnon requiring an MRI after being injured during practice, Morris should get a look in early, and if he proves himself useful, this could knock down Mckinnon’s value.