News and Rumors: Beckham Jr. Drama; Manziel Visits Patriots
Catch-up on some key fantasy football news and rumors that could affect your fantasy teams in 2018, including trade rumors surrounding the Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr.
Giants Asking a Lot for Odell Beckham Jr.
The New York Giants are asking for two first-round picks in return for any trade for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., according to a league source. The team continues to say they aren’t actively shopping OBJ, but rumors continue to circle, most heavily with the Rams. The Giants would likely lose any trade involving Beckham, so it seems unlikely that he’ll be dealt. There’s a good chance Beckham holds out well into training camp as the two sides try to hammer out a long-term extension. Beckham is coming off an injury-plagued year that saw him play in just four games due to a serious ankle injury. He should bounce back to being a WR1 in 2018, regardless of where he’s playing.
Benjamin Watson Signs With Saints
Free agent tight end Benjamin Watson will sign a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. While looking for a former tight end in Jimmy Graham, the Saints will settle with a former tight end in Watson. The 37-year-old played with New Orleans from 2013-2015 and had 61 receptions for 522 yards and four touchdowns for the Ravens in 2017. Most importantly, Watson has seen his catch percentage rise in each of the last three seasons (77.2% last season). One of the most respected veterans in the league, Watson will provide a safety blanket for Drew Brees. Expect the Saints to release Coby Fleener at some point, leaving Josh Hill and Watson atop the depth chart with Michael Hoomanawanui as a blocker.
Ndamukong Suh to Line Up at Nose Tackle
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will line up at nose tackle in defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme this year in the base defense. Aaron Donald will continue to play the “three-technique” spot, which typically lines up on the outside shoulder of an offensive guard. Suh is as disruptive a presence on the interior of a defense as there is in the NFL, and his sack numbers may also rise while playing alongside Donald in what is one of the best defenses on paper right now.
Trey Burton to Have Big Role in Offense
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy wants tight end Trey Burton to fill the “U” position that Travis Kelce formerly had in his offense in Kansas City. The position is a receiver/tight end hybrid role. “It’s an important role,” Nagy said. “It’s easy to create some plays for. And when you have a guy that has the size that Trey has and the speed that he has, it’s about mismatches.” The presence of young and improving tight end Adam Shaheen also complicates matters, but Burton has the real breakout fantasy potential here. However, he’s best selected as just a TE2 with upside for more.
Patriots Meet With Johnny Manziel
The New England Patriots met with free-agent quarterback Johnny Manziel after his workout on Tuesday, according to a source. Manziel played just two seasons in Cleveland after being selected in the first round (22nd overall) in 2014 due to off-field issues. He comes with heavy baggage and is unlikely to get another shot in the NFL — the Pats are likely just doing their due diligence. Manziel said he’d be open to playing football in Canada if an NFL team doesn’t give him another chance. Manziel would merely be a backup option if he landed on another NFL squad.
Deshaun Watson Ahead of Schedule
Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said quarterback Deshaun Watson (knee) is ahead of schedule in his recovery, but the team is unsure how much he’ll do in spring workouts. Barring any offseason setbacks, Watson should be fully recovered in time for training camp and Week 1 of the regular season. He put up big numbers before his knee injury in his rookie season and has QB1 upside with one of the best wideouts in the NFL at his disposal in DeAndre Hopkins.
David Johnson Expected to Be Back for OTAs
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson is expected to be back for organized team activities after suffering a wrist injury in Week 1 of the 2017 season. This is good news for fantasy owners, as Johnson projects to be one of the best running backs in the league if he is healthy and should be considered a locked-in RB1 with the upside to finish as the top player at the position. All is looking well with Johnson’s wrist and he should be considered fully healthy going into the preseason.