Studs and Duds: Week 1

Mon Sep 11 9:01am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Related photo caption below

Hill won a lot of games in Week 1


Well, that was an interesting start to the fantasy season. For the most part, scores were down across the board unless you had the Dolphins connection. There was more bad than good for fantasy teams, seeing a lot of players underperform. The good news is this is just a week. Things can get going in a hurry. Don’t start to panic just yet. 

Lions 21, Chiefs 20

Fantasy Stud: Amon-Ra St. Brown. It was kind of surprising, but there weren’t big fantasy players in this expected high-scoring game. St. Brown was one of the few big performers. He had six receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. It was a great start for St. Brown, who seems setup for another huge season in this offense. 

Fantasy Dud: Kadarius Toney. Toney had a brutal game, dropping several passes, including one that went through his hands and right to a Lions defender that returned it for a touchdown. Toney had just a catch for a yard and a rush for a negative gain. Toney can only go up from here, but you have to wonder how much faith the Chiefs have in him going forward. 

Game Notes: David Montgomery had 21 carries for 74 yards and a touchdown while rookie Jahmyr Gibbs ran seven times for 42 yards. Montgomery played 77 percent of the snaps compared to 27 percent for Gibbs. 

Clyde Edwards-Helaire got the first carries for the Chiefs in this one, which was a surprise. He had six carries for 22 yards. Isiah Pacheco did have more touches in the end, though, rushing eight times for 23 yards. Pacheco also had four receptions for 31 yards.

Commanders 20, Cardinals 16

Fantasy Stud: Brian Robinson. Robinson wasn’t huge but good for this game. He had 19 carries for 59 yards and caught a pass for a severn-yard touchdown. Robinson had 20 touches for 66 total yards and a score. He dominated the touches, which is good news for his fantasy value going forward. 

Fantasy Dud: Antonio Gibson. Gibson was not on the field much, watching Robinson dominate the work at running back. Gibson ran three times for just nine yards and caught a pass for 10 yards. The concern was Gibson’s lack of work in the passing game. Hopefully, that changes going forward. 

Game Notes: Josh Dobbs was just alright in his starting debut for the Cardinals. He kept the Cardinals in the game but was 21-of-30 for just 132 yards without a score or interception. 

Sam Howell scored two touchdowns. He was 19-of-31 for 202 yards and a touchdown with an interception. He also ran two times for 11 yards and a touchdown.

Falcons 24, Panthers 10 

Fantasy Stud: Tyler Allgeier. Allgeier still got plenty of work despite Bijan Robinson starting. Allgeier actually had more carries and got the goal-line work. He ran 15 times for 75 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 19 yards. He looks to still be a factor in this offense despite the addition of Robinson. 

Fantasy Dud: Bryce Young. Young was up and down in his first NFL start. He was 20-of-38 for just 146 yards and had a touchdown to two interceptions. He also ran three times for 17 yards. There will be better times ahead for Young, but this was a little bit of a disappointing start. 

Game Notes: Bijan Robinson was productive in his debut despite not getting the goal-line work. He had 10  carries for 56 yards and six receptions for 27 yards and a touchdown. He scored 20.3 fantasy points.

Drake London was a nonfactor for the Falcons, going without a catch. Desmond Ridder struggled to make many plays down the field, going 15-of-18 for 115 yards and a touchdown. 

Browns 24, Bengals 3

Fantasy Stud: Desahun Watson. Watson didn’t even hit 200-passing yards, but scored twice, including a rushing score. He was 16-of-29 for 154 yards and a touchdown with an interception. He also ran five times for 45 yards and a score. He scored a solid 23.2 fantasy points. This was a good start for Watson to his season. 

Fantasy Dud: Joe Burrow. Burrow had arguably the worst game of his career. He was 14-of-31 for just 82 yards without a score or an interception. He was really held in check by a Browns defense that looked pretty good. Plus, the poor weather conditions didn't help Burrow, either. Better days are ahead for Burrow, but that was a really disappointing one for Burrow.

Game Notes: Nick Chubb hit the 100-yard mark. He ran 18 times for 106 yards and caught four passes fro 21 yards. He actually led the Browns in receptions.

Backup running back Jerome Ford had 15 carries for 36 yards. He got a lot of work but didn’t do much with it and lost a fumble.

Ravens 25, Texans 9

Fantasy Stud: Zay Flowers. Flowers was the main target in the Ravens passing attack. He had nine receptions for 78 yards and seems to have a great rapport with quarterback Lamar Jackson. Flowers could be setup for a big rookie season. 

Fantasy Dud: Lamar Jackson. There were a lot of fantasy duds in this game, but Jackson was maybe the most disappointing. He failed to score a touchdown. He was 17-of-22 for 169 yards with an interception. He also ran six times for 38 yards. Jackson lost a fumble too, giving him multiple turnovers. Jackson scored just 10.3 fantasy points. 

Game Notes: JK Dobbins suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon. He is done for the season. Dobbins had eight carries for 22 yards and a touchdown before the injury. Gus Edwards and Justice Hill split the work at running back once Dobbins left the game. Edwards had eight carries for 32 yards while Hill ran eight times for nine yards and two touchdowns.

Nico Collins was the leading receiver for the Texans. He had six receptions for 80 yards. He is looking like the top option in this Texans passing attack. 

Jaguars 31, Colts 21

Fantasy Stud: Travis Etienne. Etienne had a great start to his season, running 18 times for 77 yards and a touchdown. He also added five receptions for 27 yards. He showed his three-down ability. Etienne scored an impressive 21.4 fantasy points. 

Fantasy Dud: Christian Kirk. Kirk was the forgotten man in the Jaguars offense this week. He had just a catch for nine yards. He led the way at receiving last year, but that wasn’t the case in Week 1. There are four receivers that had at least five receptions for the Jaguars. Kirk can get it going, but it would not surprise to see him post some up and down numbers this year in an offense with a lot of weapons.

Game Notes: Michael Pittman had a huge game, catching eight passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. It was a great start for Pittman and good to see him meshing with rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson. 

Calvin Ridley looked great in his Jaguars debut. He caught eight passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Ridley seemed as good as ever, showing few signs of rust. 

Saints 16, Titans 15

Fantasy Stud: Chris Olave. Olave looked great in his first game in year two. He had eight receptions for 112 yards. If Olave keeps getting this weekly workload from Derek Carr, he could have a huge season. Olave is talented enough to be one of the best fantasy receivers this season. 

Fantasy Dud: Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill had a rough start to his season, making you wonder if he can make it through the whole season as the starter for the Titans. He was 16-of-34 for 198 yards and three interceptions. He will need to clean up his game in a hurry if he hopes to keep the young Titans quarterbacks off the field. 

Game Notes: DeAndre Hopkins got a ton of work as the top target for the Titans. He had seven receptions for 65 yards on 13 targets. 

Michael Thomas looked healthy and was productive. He had five receptions for 61 yards. It was good to see him get through a game and produce. 

49ers 30, Steelers 7

Fantasy Stud: Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk had eight receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns. He looked great and built on a good training camp, where reports were he was the best player all camp. Aiyuk played well last season but could be in store for even better things this year.

Fantasy Dud: Najee Harris. Harris had a tough time finding room to run against a good 49ers defense. He had six carries for just 31 yards and caught two passes for two yards. things will get better for Harris as the matchups get more favorable. This was a disappointing start for his fantasy owners, though.

Game Notes: Christian McCaffrey looked as good as ever, running 22 times for 152 yards and a touchdown. He also had three receptions for 17 yards. 

Diontae Johnson suffered a hamstring injury and had to leave the game early. He had three receptions for 48 yards. This is an injury to watch going forward.

Bucs 20, Vikings 17

Fantasy Stud: Justin Jefferson. Jefferson showed why he was the first overall pick in most leagues this year. He had nine receptions for 150 yards. It was business as usual for Jefferson. He just posts huge numbers on a weekly basis for his fantasy owners.

Fantasy Dud: Rachaad White. White was not very impressive despite a ton of work. He had 17 carries for just 39 yards, averaging 2.3 yards per carry. He also had just two catches for 10 yards. White will need to start producing better if hopes to keep starting and getting this much work.

Game Notes: Jordan Addison scored a touchdown in his first NFL game. He had four receptions for 61 yards and a score.

Baker Mayfield played a solid game, going 21-of-34 for 173 yards and two touchdowns without a turnover. He moved the offense and led his team to a road victory. 

Raiders 17, Broncos 16

Fantasy Stud: Jakobi Meyers. Meyers had a fantastic start to his Raiders career. He had nine receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns. It will be hard for him to keep this pace, but it sure was encouraging. He got a lot of looks, make a lot of plays and got targets in the red zone. Things are looking up for Meyers in Las Vegas. 

Fantasy Dud: Josh Jacobs. Jacobs got a ton of work, which was encouraging, but didn’t do much with it. He had 19 carries for just 48 yards, averaging just 2.5 yards per carry. He also caught two passes for 23 yards. Jacobs missed nearly all of camp, so maybe it could take him a week or two to round into form.

Game Notes: Greg Dulcich suffered a leg injury and was knocked from the game. He had two catches for 22 yards before leaving the game. Adam Trautman had five receptions for 34 yards, getting most of the work at tight end after Dulcich left the game.

Javonte Williams had 13 carries compared to eight for Samaje Perine. Williams ran 13 times for 52 yards while Perine had eight carries for 41 yards. 

Dolphins 36, Chargers 34

Fantasy Stud: Tyreek Hill. Hill carried fantasy teams to victory with his monster game. He had 11 receptions for 215 yards and two touchdowns. If this start is any indication, Hill could lead all fantasy receivers in scoring this year. He looked amazing and was targeted heavily throughout the game. What a start. 

Fantasy Dud: Gerald Everett. Everett had a quiet Week 1. He had two receptions for 21 yards and watched backup tight end Donald Parham finish with three catches for 21 yards. This is a bit of a concern, seeing the backup outproduce him. It is a situation to keep an eye on going forward. 

Game Notes: The Chargers had a dominating performance running the ball. Austin Ekeler ran the ball 16 times for 117 yards and a touchdown. Backup Joshua Kelley had 16 carries for 91 yards and a score.

Tua Tagaovailoa enjoyed one of this best career game. He was 28-of-45 for 466 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. As long as he can stay on the field, expect big things from Tagovailoa in this offense. 

Eagles 25, Patriots 20

Fantasy Stud: Mac Jones. Jones played a solid game in a close loss, finishing 35-of-54 for 316 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. Jones scored 28.3 fantasy points. The Patriots might not throw this much every week, but this offense looks to be in much better shape with some new weapons and a new offensive coordinator. This bodes well for Jones going forward.  

Fantasy Dud: D’Andre Swift. Swift came off the bench behind Kenneth Gainwell and barely saw the field. He ran once for three yards and caught a pass. Swift could play his way into a bigger role, but this start is a big concern for fantasy owners. He has some work to do to get more touches for the Eagles.

Game Notes: Kendrick Bourne was the leading receivers for the Patriots. He had six receptions for 64 yards and two touchdowns. He got a lot of looks and produced with his touches. 

Jalen Hurts was not super sharp, scoring just once while failing to throw for 200 yards. He was 22-of-33 for 170 yards and a touchdown. And he ran nine times for 37 yards, losing a fumble. Hurts failed to top 16 fantasy points. 

Packers 38, Bears 20

Fantasy Stud: Jordan Love. Love looked great in his debut as the unquestioned starter for the Packers. He was 15-of-27 for 245 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover. You could not have asked for a better start from Love, who was without his No. 1 receiver.  

Fantasy Dud: D.J. Moore. Despite building a great rapport with Justin Fields during camp and preseason action, Moore was not able to get it going in Week 1. He had just two receptions for 25 yards. You expected more from this duo, but it didn’t happen to open the season. 

Game Notes: Aaron Jones looked great but had to leave early with a hamstring injury. He had nine carries for 41 yards and a touchdown. He also caught two passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. The injury didn’t appear too serious, but is one to watch this week.

Romeo Doubs was iffy to play because of a hamstring injury but was able to play and produce. He had four receptions for 26 yards and two touchdowns. 

Rams 30, Seahawks 13

Fantasy Stud: Puka Nacua. Nacua got a chance for more playing time because of an injury to Cooper Kupp and sure made the most of it. He had a huge game, catching 10 passes for 119 yards. It was an impressive showing for the rookie that seems to have earned a big role in this offense going forward. He will be a hot item on waivers.

Fantasy Dud: Geno Smith. There were a lot of duds for the Seahawks, but Smith tops the list because his poor play hurt the entire team. He was 16-of-26 for 112 yards and a touchdown. Smith scored just 10.2 fantasy points. He had fewer than 15 fantasy points all but two games last year. This was not a good start for Smith in what seemed like a good matchup. 

Game Notes: Tutu Atwell hit the 100-yard mark for the Rams. He had six receptions for 119 yards. Atwell is going to be a big part of this offense, especially early in the season. 

Kyren Williams got a lot of work for the Rams. He had 15 carries for 52 yards and two touchdowns. Cam Akers had a lot more carries, but managed just 29 yards on 22 carries. He did score a touchdown, though, which helped make up for his poor production on the field. 

Cowboys 40, Giants 0

Fantasy Stud: Cowboys defense. The Cowboys defense absolutely dominated this game. Dallas had seven sacks, a fumble recovery, two interceptions and two touchdowns. It was an unreal game by this unit, which looks to be one of the best in all of football this year. The pass rush is just relentless for the Cowboys. 

Fantasy Dud: Daniel Jones. It was tough conditions, but Jones had a rough opener. He was 15-of-28 for 110 yards without a touchdown and two interceptions. He ran 13 times for 43 yards. He scored a dismal 7.8 fantasy points. Things can only go up from here for Jones and the entire Giants offense. 

Game Notes: Darren Waller was able to play on his hamstring injury and had three receptions for 36 yards. He looked near full strength, which is a good sign for him going forward. 

Tony Pollard had 14 carries for 70 yards and two touchdowns. It was good to see Pollard get the work around the goal line. He could rack up the scores in this offense.

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

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Brian Daboll Jun 15 12:30pm ET
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New York Giants offensive lineman Evan Neal (ankle) had surgery to fix a small fracture in his ankle in early January, but he had participated in some individual drills in the first two open organized team activity practices. However, head coach Brian Daboll said the team "backed off" the 2022 first-rounder recently. Neal was in the facility rehabbing for the first half of minicamp practices before riding a stationary bike on the sideline. The 6-foot-7, 340-pounder was laboring as he walked around the practice fields this week. This doesn't bode well for Neal's status heading into training camp next month. We'll keep a close eye on his status this summer as the Giants look to massively improve what was a terrible offensive line in 2023.

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Breece Hall Jun 15 12:30pm ET
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New York Jets running back Breece Hall (lower body) was held out of minicamp practices as a precaution with a minor lower-body injury. "I'm just focused on continuing to get better and just to keep building my body up for the season," Hall said. "I could practice right now. I feel great, but the coaches are really cautious with me, and I appreciate them for that. It has been a good time still being a part of everything. I do all the walkthroughs and stuff we've been doing." Last year, Hall didn't practice until late August after coming off a torn ACL, but he still racked up 1,588 scrimmage yards and nine touchdowns in 2023. It may raise some eyebrows that he's dealing with an injury this offseason, but as long as he's fine in training camp, fantasy managers should have no worries taking Hall as a top-three fantasy RB in the first round of drafts.

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D.K. Metcalf Jun 15 12:30pm ET
D.K. Metcalf

Seattle Seahawks new head coach Mike Macdonald said his coaching staff plans to make wide receiver DK Metcalf a "moving target" for defenses this year. "I can tell you this: We want to get DK the ball a lot, too," Macdonald said. The Seahawks and new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb plan to move Metcalf around and get him the ball often after he ended the 2023 campaign on a sour note, catching just one pass for 10 yards in the season finale. Still, the 26-year-old made his second Pro Bowl and topped 1,000 yards receiving for the second straight season and the third time in five years while also visiting paydirt eight times. Fantasy managers won't complain about the Seahawks using Metcalf more creatively, including more in the slot, to make him more productive. Treat him as a solid WR2 wideout in fantasy drafts this fall.

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Jake Ferguson Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Jake Ferguson

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jake Ferguson broke out as the team's starting tight end in 2023 with 71 catches for 761 yards and five touchdowns en route to his first Pro Bowl nod. "It's his consistency and his passion his energy," said head coach Mike McCarthy. "And, really, it's his growth as a football player. We talked a little bit about his weight, and I think he's done an outstanding job in his transition phase of it. He's having a great offseason." Ferguson has so far shown that he has the entire package the Cowboys are looking for on offense. Realistically, the 25-year-old third-year tight end could be quarterback Dak Prescott's No. 2 target behind receiver CeeDee Lamb in 2024. Ferguson led all TEs in targets inside the 20-yard line last year and should be considered a low-end TE1 in fantasy with the upside for more.

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Blake Corum Jun 15 12:30pm ET
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Los Angeles Rams rookie running back Blake Corum has impressed head coach Sean McVay this offseason as he attempts to learn the offense and carve out a role for himself behind lead back Kyren Williams. "On the offensive side, I've been pleased with a lot of guys but Blake Corum has really stood out," McVay said. "Mature beyond his years. I love the way that he handles himself." Williams remains the leader of this backfield, but Corum will get his opportunities in 2024 and said himself that he'll "definitely be catching the ball out of the backfield." The 23-year-old third-rounder out of Michigan has endeared himself to the Rams' coaching staff already, and Williams' foot injury has allowed him more reps this offseason. Corum will be a top handcuff option for those that roster Williams, and he could even carve out some RB3/flex value in point-per-reception leagues in 2024.

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Khalil Shakir Jun 15 12:30pm ET
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Buffalo Bills wide receiver Khalil Shakir (lower body) said he's all good and expects to be 100 percent healthy for the start of training camp at the end of July. Shakir suffered an undisclosed lower-body injury during minicamp practice earlier this week and didn't practice the rest of the week. However, it appears that the injury isn't serious and won't keep him off the field for the start of training camp. Now that both Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis aren't in Buffalo, the 24-year-old former fifth-round pick in 2022 will have an increased role in the Bills' passing attack in 2024 after finishing the 2023 season off on a strong note. Still, Shakir has a ways to go to become relevant in standard-sized fantasy leagues after catching 39 passes for 611 yards and only two touchdowns in 17 regular-season games (10 starts) in his second NFL campaign in 2023.

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Chase Young Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Chase Young

New Orleans Saints defensive end Chase Young (neck), who had offseason neck surgery, received a positive report from renowned specialist Dr. Robert Watkins during a checkup this week, according to a source. Young will have more tests on his neck in around six weeks, but he plans to take part in training camp this summer. The former second overall pick by the Washington Commanders in 2020 out of Ohio State won Defensive Rookie of the Year in his first season in the league, but then injuries struck. He was able to play in 16 games with Washington and the San Francisco 49ers last year, though, and finished with 7.5 sacks, the same amount he had in 2020. If the 25-year-old can just say on the field, the Saints could have a real steal on their hands on their D-line. Because of the injury risk, Young can be left to the waiver wire in IDP leagues to start the year.

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Calais Campbell Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Calais Campbell

Six-time Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, according to sources. Campbell will turn 38 years old in September but he's still playing at a high level as he enters his 17th season in the NFL. The 37-year-old is looking to finish out his career in Miami after playing his college ball with the Hurricanes. The veteran pass-rusher doesn't play as many snaps as he did earlier in his career, which puts him off the fantasy radar in most IDP leagues, but he could still be productive when he's on the field for an already strong Dolphins defense. In 17 starts for the Atlanta Falcons last year, Campbell had 56 tackles (32 solo), 6.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 17 QB hits. Campbell hasn't had double-digit sacks in a season since 2018 and hasn't made a Pro Bowl since 2020.

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Jayden Daniels Jun 15 12:30pm ET
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The Washington Commanders and second overall pick Jayden Daniels agreed to terms on a four-year, $37.75 million fully guaranteed deal on Friday that includes a $24.3 million signing bonus, according to his agent. The young quarterback out of LSU is the highest pick of this year's NFL draft to sign their rookie deal to this point. While Daniels is technically competing for the starting gig in his rookie season in 2024 with veteran Marcus Mariota, most people are projecting Daniels to win the competition and start right away in Week 1 in D.C. The 23-year-old dual-threat signal-caller has all the physical skills to have success at the next level in an offense without much proven talent at the receiver position beyond Terry McLaurin. Aside from durability concerns, Daniels has the makeup to have a seamless transition to the NFL, immediately making him relevant in two-QB, superflex leagues in 2024.

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Adam Trautman Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Adam Trautman

Denver Broncos tight end Adam Trautman (core) was held out of mandatory minicamp practices this week as a precaution due to a core-muscle injury. "Just being smart with his reps," head coach Sean Payton said. "He had core-muscle symptoms, which is basically a sprain. He didn't need surgery, so that's the good news. Nothing significant though." It sounds like it's an injury that won't keep Trautman sidelined for the start of training camp at the end of July. The 27-year-old re-signed with Denver in the offseason after catching 22 passes for 204 yards and a career-high three touchdowns in 17 games in his first year in Denver in 2023. Third-year tight end Greg Dulcich (foot) has had trouble staying on the field in his first two years in the NFL, but if he's healthy, he'll be the better bet for fantasy production in 2024 than Trautman.

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Tim Patrick Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Tim Patrick

Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick (Achilles) was one of the standout performers at minicamp practice earlier this week and is recovered from last summer's torn Achilles, the second straight season he suffered a season-ending injury in training camp. "[He brings] those intangibles," head coach Sean Payton said of Patrick. Patrick is 30 years old and hasn't played in the NFL since 2021, so he won't be drafted in most single-year leagues. Also not going in his favor is the uncertainty at the quarterback position for the Broncos entering training camp. However, with Jerry Jeudy now in Cleveland, Patrick has an opportunity to step into the No. 2 role behind Courtland Sutton if he can stay healthy. In his last season in 2021, Patrick was serviceable in fantasy with a career-high 53 catches, 734 receiving yards and five touchdowns in 16 starts.

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Bo Nix Jun 15 12:30pm ET
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Denver Broncos quarterback Jarrett Stidham has an obvious advantage in the quarterback competition with rookie first-rounder Bo Nix and former first-rounder Zach Wilson as he enters his second year in head coach Sean Payton's offense. "He's doing well," Payton said of Stidham. "Clearly, within the framework within what we're doing, he is much further along than in Year 1 in the transition. I'd say he's looked really sharp during this offseason program. [He is] real decisive. I think the leadership he is able to provide there, and there's good competition." Stidham may be ahead now, but Nix could quickly and easily close the gap if he looks good in training camp this summer. And it's not like Stidham has much experience in the NFL to begin with. Fantasy managers in single-year formats would be wise to avoid Denver's QB situation.

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Zach Wilson Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Zach Wilson

During offseason practices, Denver Broncos quarterback Zach Wilson has ceded most of the repetitions to Jarrett Stidham and rookie first-rounder Bo Nix. Wilson had a total of three practices with the first-team offense this spring compared to five for Stidham and four for Nix. There will officially be an open QB competition between Wilson, Stidham and Nix this summer at training camp, but it would be a pretty big surprise if Wilson came out the winner heading into the Week 1 regular season opener this fall. The 24-year-old former first-rounder fizzled out in impressive fashion with the New York Jets, and the Broncos predictably declined his fifth-year option after trading for him this offseason. Wilson has a strong arm but showed questionable decision-making in his time with the Jets. He's off the fantasy radar, even in dynasty/keeper leagues.

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Zach Wilson Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Zach Wilson

The Denver Broncos' quarterback competition between Jarrett Stidham, rookie first-rounder Bo Nix and former first-rounder Zach Wilson is going to heat up in training camp this summer, but a starter might not officially be announced until late in the preseason. Head coach Sean Payton indicated the week before the team's season opener is the "end date" to have named a starter at the position, but he doesn't have a set date in mind to make his decision. "Every day we're rolling them different with the ones, twos and threes," Payton said. "We're kind of doing the same thing with a lot of the other position groups. I just feel like this is the time of the year to do that." Stidham may have the slight advantage right now because of his experience in Payton's offense last year, but Nix could close the gap quickly by outperforming him in camp this summer.

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Tony Jefferson Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Tony Jefferson

The Los Angeles Chargers announced on Friday that they signed free-agent defensive back Tony Jefferson to an undisclosed deal. Jefferson is coming out of retirement after spending the last year working as a scout for the Baltimore Ravens. In his last season of NFL action in 2022 with the New York Giants, he played in only nine games (one start) and had 23 tackles (16 solo) and one pass breakup. The 32-year-old former undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma played four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals to begin his career before joining the Ravens for three full seasons from 2017-19. He played for the Ravens and San Francisco 49ers in 2021. Jefferson will merely be competing for a roster spot in LA in training camp and the preseason.

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Jesper Horsted Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Jesper Horsted

The New Orleans Saints signed free-agent tight end Jesper Horsted to an undisclosed deal on Friday and waived wide receiver Kyle Sheets in a corresponding move, according to executive vice president/general manager Horsted didn't play at all in 2024 while with the Las Vegas Raiders due to a hamstring issue, but he's presumably healed from that injury and now ready to compete for a roster spot with the Saints in training camp and the preseason. The 27-year-old entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2019 out of Princeton with the Chicago Bears and played in two seasons in the Windy City before joining the Raiders in 2022. In his four years in the league, he's amassed just 14 receptions for 131 yards and three touchdowns, so he's obviously nowhere near the fantasy radar.

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Kirk Cousins Jun 14 12:20pm ET
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The Atlanta Falcons will have their 2025 fifth-round pick revoked following the NFL's investigation into potential tampering. The Falcons violated the anti-tampering policy with quarterback Kirk Cousins, wide receiver Darnell Mooney, and tight end Charlie Woerner. In addition to the pick loss, the team was fined $250,000, and general manager Terry Fontenot was fined $500,000, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport. All things considered, this is a mild punishment. The Falcons have Super Bowl aspirations after signing Cousins to a $180 million contract this offseason, and the punishments will not affect their 2024 campaign.

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Micheal Clemons Jun 14 12:20pm ET
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Free-agent edge-rusher Takkarist McKinley is signing with the New York Jets, according to NFL.com. The 2017 first-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons out of UCLA is set to join his seventh organization in his seventh year in the NFL. He has appeared in games for the Falcons, Cleveland Browns, and Los Angeles Rams and has racked up 98 tackles, 20 sacks, three forced fumbles, and two pass deflections in 64 career games. Although he's unlikely to ever live up to his draft status, he could contribute to a dominant defense as a rotational edge rusher. He'll look to compete with Micheal Clemons and Will McDonald IV to play behind Haason Reddick and Jermaine Johnson in 2024.

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DeAndre Carter Jun 14 12:20pm ET
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The Chicago Bears are signing wide receiver DeAndre Carter, according to Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report. The 2015 undrafted free agent has spent time with nine NFL organizations, including the Bears in 2020. Overall, the 31-year-old has tallied 108 receptions for 1,259 yards and six touchdowns. However, he has returned 132 punts and 118 kickoffs in 94 career games, so that's likely why Chicago was interested in bringing him in. Carter is likely to compete with third-year wideout Velus Jones Jr. for return-man duties, a role that could be more important following the updated kickoff rules in 2024. With DJ Moore, Keenan Allen, and Rome Odunze on the roster, it'd be a surprise if Carter makes an impact as a receiver.

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Juwan Johnson Jun 14 12:20pm ET
Juwan Johnson

New Orleans Saints tight end Juwan Johnson (foot) is scheduled to undergo foot surgery next week, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Johnson suffered the injury during Wednesday's minicamp practice and is expected to miss a significant chunk of time. However, the team is hopeful he'll be ready for the start of the regular season. In Johnson's first year with Derek Carr, he caught 37 passes for 368 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games. He's been a fantasy football sleeper for the last few years and will remain one in 2024, so long as he can recover and get back to action. In his absence, Foster Moreau will likely handle TE1 duties, though Taysom Hill could see more work at that spot for the remainder of the offseason.

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