We’re less than 10 days away from the 2020 NFL season opener, which will be played between Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium next Thursday night. But bAhead of the long-awaited kickoff, there’s just one more critical date on the NFL calendar – Downsizing Day, which will take place on Saturday, September 5.
Each NFL team will drop from 80 players on the roster to the mid-season standard 53 at 4 p.m. EST on Saturday, although strengthened practice teams of 16 players per club should help teams retain a good chunk of the guys. that they loved at camp.
Still, different teams have different strengths and weaknesses, and this is a great opportunity for various clubs to tackle a weaker or injury-ridden group of positions. Conversely, some teams just can’t keep RB4 on their depth chart which may not offer anything on special teams, but it can add RB2 value elsewhere in the NFL. You may also have a situation like the one we saw in Jacksonville with Leonard Fournette, where a team loves the young players it has in a position and is ready to cut ties with a holder to give them more opportunities.
NFL clubs probably know all of this now – even with a shortened offseason – so we might see some trades this week as well. The sooner the better, of course, as there is obviously not much time for a player to acclimate to a new city, new building, and new project before week 1, especially with the test requirements delaying a player’s ability to start training.
We saw the New York Jets offer the Miami dolphins a conditional choice for Kalen Ballage right before it was cut last week just to get two years of cost control (not that we’re ever suggesting you draft Kalen Ballage in fantasy this season). Rookie contract players who could perhaps benefit from a change of scenery are the ones to watch for potential trades.
That said, this is a fantasy football overhaul. Deep the sleeper column, focusing specifically on players who might become relevant if they find a new home this week or at some point this season. While it might seem silly to draft a player before the hit actually happens, every late turn (probably latest round for all of this) the flyer choice is inherently an upside down lottery ticket, where a few things must get in the way of that player.
We’ve heard a lot about this offseason Phillip lindsay thoughts on the Melvin Gordon III signature – you can tell he didn’t like it. But Lindsay might not be the Broncos running back most affected by the move, as it could very well lead to the departure of Royce Freeman. Lindsay has long eclipsed Royce Freeman, who was drafted in the third round in 2018 before Lindsay was signed as an undrafted free agent. It’s Lindsay’s backfield in Denver from… until Melvin Gordon arrived.
Denver isn’t too far advanced to come back behind Freeman after losing Devontae Booker to division-rival Raiders this offseason. It can discourage a business, but you never know. Vic Fangio’s old friends Bear could probably use a player like Freeman after David Montgomery suffered a non-contact groin injury last week, which could cause him to miss the first few weeks of the season.
Freeman has struggled to turn his touches into big plays, but he’s a reliable pass blocker who can save you a few yards on the ground or in the air. Sometimes that’s all a team needs after a few injuries in the RB hall. The Oregon product still has two years on his rookie deal, which also makes him attractive, as we’ve seen with the Jets preferring to acquire Kalen Ballage’s rookie deal from 2018 rather than signing it. for a new deal after the Dolphins planned to release. him.
There is nothing that NFL teams love to do more than give players with high pedigree another chance. Yeldon was selected 36e overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and he’s still just 26 years old. He’s had an odd career trajectory, with his best career yardage performance in his rookie season. Fournette then arrived two years later which forced Yeldon to become more of a wide receiver, but that’s not such a bad thing.
As Yeldon’s rushing attempts have subsided, he has hit 68 of his 93 targets for 611 yards – 9 yards per reception – over the past two seasons, mostly off the backfield. He has a little problem with falling, but he also had Blake bortles and Josh Allen throw the soccer ball at him. Although he has become best known for his landings, he is still 6-1 / 2-inch, 223-pound with a short history of injuries.
With the drafting of bills Zack Moss in the third round to pair with their third round 2019 Devin Singletary, Yeldon appears to be outside looking inside. Taiwan Jones is a reliable veteran backup, and the Bills have reworked the rear Pat DiMarco’s treat this offseason to keep it around.
If Yeldon were dispatched elsewhere, he might gain the opportunity to carve out a role for himself. There is also the advantage that he becomes a fullback every time for a streak of games following new injuries in a team’s RB room. Yeldon is a free agent after this season, so it’s time to give him some value.
The speech at Titletown throughout the offseason was AJ Dillon gargantuan thighs, so naturally it’s fair to wonder if Dillon knocked down Jamaal Williams as RB2 in Matt LaFleur’s heavy offense. Reports out of camp have been positive about Williams, and he had a great 2019 in the passing game both when running routes and when he stayed to block. With how much Lafleur enjoys leading the ball, he’s probably more than happy to keep three quality running backs in the lineup.
Nonetheless, Williams’ business value is in a good place, and a key part of his contract makes him more likely to be traded. For starters, Williams will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. Aaron Jones probably asks for a healthy new contract, the Packers just used a secosd-round choice on Dillon and their cap situation is tight going forward. From that perspective alone, it might be wise for the Packers to recoup some value for Williams now while they still can. But perhaps more importantly, Williams has also qualified for what is known as the “Proven Performance Escalator” or EPI.
To put it simply: under the 2011 CBA, if one third to sevenththe draft round pick played 35% or more of their team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of their first three seasons, or if they averaged 35% or more in the first three seasons, they earn a base salary increase in their fourth season. While Williams only got about a $ 1.4 million raise, we’ve seen this scenario in NFC North before. The Bears and their new coaching staff – who didn’t draft Jordan howard – traded Howard to the Eagles for a conditional sixe-round pick last year. He had also obtained PPE, which caused his pay to increase as his position on the depth map declined.
The Packers who also wrote Dexter williams in the sixth round of 2019, it is not inconceivable that they would explore a profession for Jamaal Williams.
I’m going to cheat a bit for the rest of the list, as I’m leaving with pairs of teammates and looking for the weird man in a crowded position room. The Texans added Brandin cooks and Randall Cobb to their large group of receivers this offseason after having traded ByAndré Hopkins, thus providing them with another speedster and a reliable slot target, respectively. Stills is now the third deep threat on the list behind Brandin Cooks and Will fuller, and with an unsecured base salary of $ 7 million for 2020, he’s a good business item for Texans, who could afford to free up space for the cap for the future.
Coutee has struggled with injuries for most of his career and now, despite being in great health, he will fight to see the field. He has two years left on his rookie deal, which may prompt a team to take a chance, giving him a fresh start away from Houston.
The real target is Stills, who has WR2 on the rise in the Texans’ high-octane offense simply because Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller have faced their fair share of injuries in their careers.
Jonathan taylor was one of the most productive running backs of all time at a college known for producing elite NFL running backs. Although his use of the passing game was almost non-existent at first, he showed a solid ability to catch passes in space during his senior year at Wisconsin. There is no concern that Taylor could be a three-way return to the NFL this season.
Mack and Wilkins are both capable running backs in their own right. Mack has already proven he can handle a fair amount of touches, and Wilkins capitalized on the few chances he was given. Every player could carve out a nice role for himself elsewhere, especially Mack, who has shown he can handle the workload.
We just saw the Pure and simple liberation of the Jaguars old n ° 4 Overall pick of 2017 to Leonard Fournette, so it’s all on the table in Jacksonville. DJ Chark emerged as a legitimate WR1, and the Jaguars selected Laviska Shenault Jr. Colorado in the second round of this year’s draft.
Cole and Westbrook both showed flashes, although consistency seems to be a bit of an issue for both. That being said, they are talented young wide receivers with good potential. If a team hungry for wide receiver talent – a team like the 49ers, for example – takes a chance on either and receives some serious playing time, they could have a solid fantastic season.