Trading for Cooks and former Panthers defensive lineman Kony Ealy left New England without a first- or second-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, but the Patriots could recoup a slew of high picks if the Browns make an offer they can’t refuse for backup passer Jimmy Garoppolo.
Who else matters in this division? Let’s start in Miami, where the Dolphins took a major step forward under new coach Adam Gase in 2016. Making the playoffs for the first time since 2008, Miami re-signed plenty of its own free agents — led by wideout Kenny Stills — and brought in talent from afar, including linebacker Lawrence Timmons and pass-catching tight end Julius Thomas.
Of course, as a perennial winner, the team has had to get used to picking low — the Patriots have drafted earlier than 20th overall just three times since 2002. How do they do it? It all starts with the draft process the team has in place. A major reason for the team’s constant success is the head coach’s direct involvement in the draft process. In many other organizations, the general manager brings in players for the coaches to coach, but in New England, Belichick has a hand in it all. There’s a major difference, and I spoke to my former coach this past Saturday to figure out how this tedious process works and helps the team maintain dominance.
It’s simple: The Patriots aim to draft as efficiently as possible. Throughout the draft process, they break down players and several scenarios that could play out. There could be a special talent they’re willing to trade up for (SEE: Chandler Jones and Hightower in 2012). Or the Pats hold their position if they think the player they like will still be on the board when they’re on the clock (SEE: Brown, who went 32nd overall in 2015). Or the Pats consider trading down to get a better value for a player who isn’t necessarily high on their board.
Miami established itself as the only divisional threat to another Patriots AFC East title last season, posting a 10-6 wild-card campaign in coach Adam Gase’s first year at the helm. These Dolphins continue to build a veteran roster at a time when other AFC East outfits (the Jets and Bills) are veering toward a youth movement. So, what’s the outlook with Cutler taking the reins under center? Some analysts are projecting a slight upgrade over a Ryan Tannehill-led offense, though the range of possibilities for a 34-year-old semi-retired quarterback with one career Pro Bowl appearance (as a Bronco back in 2008) and a history of inconsistent play is fairly wide. Cutler had one of his better seasons with Gase while the pair worked together during the 2015 campaign in Chicago, though Gase seems to be having that effect across the NFL.
Could it work? Think of it this way: For the first time in years, Cutler is being looked at as a savior — and not as a mistake. His contract in Chicago kept him around long past his expiration date with fans and coaches. This is the first time in years where the situation has been fit to Cutler’s liking, and it might provide his best set of surrounding weapons since the days of Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall.
Luego del exitoso partido de 2016 en México, la NFL regresará a la Ciudad de México en 2017 cuando los Oakland Raiders reciban a los New England Patriots en el Estadio Azteca, anunció hoy el Comisionado de la NFL, Roger Goodell, en su conferencia de prensa en Houston, previa al Super Bowl LI.
La fecha y hora del juego se determinarán conjuntamente con el lanzamiento del calendario de la NFL esta primavera. El partido en México es el quinto juego internacional confirmado para 2017, sumándose a los cuatro juegos previamente anunciados en Londres, y es testimonio del compromiso de la NFL de aumentar el número de partidos más allá de las fronteras de Estados Unidos.
Ryan methodically scrolls through his reads and picks apart opposing defenses. He’s accurate, he’s tough, he’s clutch. Everything is clicking in Year 2 under play-calling mastermind Kyle Shanahan. If you don’t appreciate this, then you don’t appreciate football. Not liking Matt Ryan right now is akin to not liking pizza.
Of course, the Falcons aren’t the NFL’s most potent offense without Ryan getting a little help from his friends. And that starts with the freak in the No. 11 jersey. Julio Jones is a force of nature. How many “wow” plays can one man make in a Championship Sunday? Like another legend of Atlanta sports lore, he’s a human highlight reel. After posting his third consecutive regular season with at least 1,400 receiving yards, Jones went bonkers on Sunday, catching nine balls for 180 yards and two touchdowns. The only thing that can stop Julio Jones is his own body.
Week 6 is wrapping up and chaos continues to roll on. Backfields continue to turn over and the new realities the NFL reveals constantly remind us not to clinge to our conceived notions. It’s a reminder that pain is always present in the joy that is fantasy football. Now we must look forward to options to assist in beefing up our fake teams to move forward, whether it be long-term replacements or a streamer just to get by.
It’s just those sort of symptoms that the Deep Dive is prescribed to help alleviate. NFL Fantasy’s editorial overlord Alex Gelhar dutifully attacks the waiver wire to give you the top adds for the coming week in hopes of bolstering your roster. However, in this arena, we’ll look at options to help those of you looking to go a little bit further down the rabbit hole, whether you play in a deeper format or are at the mercy of your incredibly sharp league-mates who scour the waiver wire relentlessly. A player can only qualify for the deep dive if they’re owned in less than 10 percent of NFL.com leagues. With that, here are 11 players you can consider adding before Week 7 either as deep FLEX plays or simply as bench stashes.