A few minutes before the newsletter went out on Friday we got another fantasy bombshell in the wake of the Cam Akers injury—Saints WR Michael Thomas will be out for 12-16 weeks after having surgery to repair ankle ligaments in June.
New Orleans.football’s Nick Underhill reported that the most likely window for Thomas’ return would be somewhere between Week 3 and Week 7. Thomas was supposed to return to a specialist earlier in the offseason to determine whether surgery would be needed, but the return visit never happened. Oof.
This is obviously a huge blow to the Saints offense and a tricky situation for fantasy owners. One of the smartest bets in fantasy football is fading guys returning from injury. There’s so many things that can go wrong throughout recovery and trying to return to the field.
I can’t see myself drafting Thomas unless I’m getting a massive discount. I’m still taking guys like Laviska Shenault and Will Fuller over him. Mecole Hardman, too. I don’t think it’s until I get to the Darnell Mooney and Russel Gage range that I’m willing to take a stab on Thomas returning and finishing the season strong. Let your league mates clog their roster for an ambiguous payout.
📰 Fantasy News for the true sickos.
* Per Tom Pelissero, the Texans are listening to trade offers for Deshaun Watson. The rumored asking price is at least three first-round picks. Watson reported to camp on Sunday after avoiding the Commissioner’s Exempt List. He still faces 20+ allegations of sexual misconduct and 22 pending lawsuits.
* The Bears traded fourth-year WR Anthony Miller to the Texans in exchange for a late-round pick swap. Miller had been on the outs in Chicago for awhile now as the Bears backfilled behind him this offseason with Marquise Goodwin, Damiere Byrd, and rookie Dazz Newsome. Miller now heads to Houston where he’ll compete with Randall Cobb for a slot role.
* Dede Westbrook signed a one-year contract with the Vikings and immediately became the team’s No. 3 WR. Still, there’s not much fantasy value here with how condensed the offense is around Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, and Adam Thielen.
* The Bears have placed RB Tarik Cohen on the PUP list as he recovers from his ACL injury from last season. Damien Williams is one of the best RB picks you can make late in drafts right now behind David Montgomery. He should have a small role right out of the gate and would be a bellcow back if Montgomery went down.
* Interesting take from The Athletic’s Chris Burke on the Lions WRs: “If I were a betting man, though, I’d take Amon-Ra St. Brown and a healthy Tyrell Williams to surpass Breshad Perriman’s totals in 2021, at least in targets."
* Bucs TE O.J. Howard was not placed on PUP, but isn’t practicing right now as he recovers from his Achilles injury. I really want to bet against Gronk playing a full season effectively via Howard, but it’s going to be tough to do until he gets healthy.
* The Eagles have a bit of a log jam at RB with Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell, Kerryon Johnson, Jason Huntley, and Jordan Howard. Jimmy Kempski: “In my opinion, Johnson is a more effective player in pass protection and even as a short-yardage runner than Howard, and that he's beat Howard out for a backup spot, as long as he's healthy (which remains in question). I also like Huntley's chances of sticking because of his speed.”
📚 The Fantasy Articles You Must Read
Backup RB rankings: Pollard poised to shine if opportunity knocks by Mike Clay. Over at ESPN+, part of the Rotopass network, Clay ranks all 32 backup RBs to determine which ones are worth rostering this year.
🎥 Grainy Camp Video Szn
One of these days I’m going to break down and succumb to Brady’s charm but for now I’m holding strong as a cynic...
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See ya Wednesday.