With training camps now underway, we received our first batch of players who will be opening up the season on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list.
For what it’s worth, this is just the training camp PUP list and not the regular season PUP list where players have to miss the first 6 weeks of the season. Still, there are two big names we now need to monitor throughout draft season:
* Saquon Barkley (knee) - This was to be expected as he continues to recover from his ACL, but it does seem likely that Barkley will start the season with some limitations and perhaps a lighter workload until he’s back to full strength. Devontae Booker remains one of the best handcuff fliers you can select late in drafts.
* Amari Cooper (ankle) - This is slightly concerning, although Mike McCarthy insists it’s not: “He looks great. He’s in great shape. I’m not concerned.” Injuries have nagged Cooper throughout his career, but hopefully this is just the team being cautious with the veteran. CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup remain great selections at their current ADPs.
Not worried about Barkley and Cooper? Slap their name on one of Matthew’s Fantasy Life draft boards at your draft party. Each kit includes a 58”x36” board and over 500 player labels, including all of the 2021 rookies:
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* DeAndre Hopkins tweeted (and has since deleted) a post about the NFL’s updated COVID policy making him question his future in the league. The NFL’s new policy forces teams to forfeit if a game can’t be rescheduled following a COVID outbreak from players who aren’t vaccinated. Cole Beasley has also publicly threatened retirement, so it seems unlikely this conflict will be going away any time soon.
* Howard Eskin on Deshaun Watson: “Based on the information that I got, when — and I’ll say WHEN — he is traded, I think there is a 90% chance that (Watson) will be with the Philadelphia Eagles."
* Greg Auman on Gio Bernard: “Bernard likely will be what Arians calls the ‘nickel’ back, playing on third downs and obvious passing situations, like their two-minute offense. It’s an important role and what LeSean McCoy was intended to be last year.”
* Blake Jarwin avoided the PUP list and practiced for the first time since suffering a torn ACL in the 2020 season opener. I would bet Jarwin is a big riser in ADP over the next month so get your shares now while he’s still cheap.
* Hard to imagine a worse offseason for a rookie than Kadarius Toney, who was recently placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list:
* Rhamondre Stevenson was placed on the active/non-football injury list Wednesday. Stevenson has been a trendy late round flier, but this pours some cold water on that knowing how hard it is for rookies to curry favor from Belichick.
* More buzz on Amari Rodgers from offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett: “I think without a doubt he’s going to do some cool things for us this upcoming year...He’s not intimidated by what we’re handing to him. He’s a student of the game, and you can see that. He’s got a natural feel to the game in these limited reps.”
💪 High key thicc
Or maybe it’s high key not thicc? I dunno, but regardless Zeke says he’s down to 219 pounds, which is the lightest he’s been since his freshman year at Ohio State.
And while we are here, how about a photo of Najee Harris doing a handstand? Adjust your ranks:
R.I.P. Greg Knapp: