Ezekiel Elliott signs, Melvin Gordon does not & more fantasy hot-takes
Week 1 kicks off with Thursday Night Football in about 24 hours! Hopefully your starting lineup is set & your best players are all healthy. Let's strap up and play! Follow me on Twitter @mattkdelima
Jerry Jones caves, Elliott inks six-year, $90M extension
NEWS: Ezekiel Elliott signed a six year contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys for $90M. The deal also includes $50M in guaranteed money. The length of the deal carries until Elliott is beyond age 30.
ANALYSIS: Somewhere Melvin Gordon is saying to himself, "Man, ain't that 'bout a B!" Elliott is right back where we left him, at the very top of the fantasy football rankings list. The Tony Pollard experiment won't really be unfolding anytime soon but he might still be worth holding for a week or two in case Zeke wasn't conditioning himself properly and overdoes it early on.
Elliott is a plug-and-play stud and it shouldn't require a second thought for you to keep him in your starting lineup every week. Next up, the Cowboys need to find a deal for Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, but they do not have the money for both next season.
Let's recap this one: The Cowboys have an elite offensive line and big investments there. Prescott is an above-average QB who takes what defenses give him. He doesn't take too many chances when pass protection holds up. Pollard looks like a promising rookie and he's bound to get some late-game looks in the early weeks. Cooper can stretch the field and is a true WR1. Witten will post up in the middle and be the dump-off king. We're all hoping Michael Gallup can provide something resembling a WR2 season. Randall Cobb and Tavon Austin are tricky matchups outside, although highly inconsistent.
So there's a lot to like here and it's not as though the NFC East seems to be putting up much of a fight outside of Philadelphia. Fantasy owners should feel very confident about the Dallas offense with Zeke back in the fold.
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No deal for Gordon, holdout continues
NEWS: The Chargers want a first-round pick in exchange for Melvin Gordon. No deal yet.
ANALYSIS: Well, this story has been mostly depressing all offseason and preseason. We hoped and lots of drafters took a risk on Gordon. Looks like that won't pay off soon. Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson are of course the now well-known benefactors from this, but I'm more concerned about this team's morale. There's also been no deal for Philip Rivers, who is also in the last year of his contract. These are basically the cornerstones of the franchise, yet the Chargers leaves them both hanging in the wind. Although that might not affect our fantasy football contests, I still sympathize with these guys for having committed so much of their career to a franchise that doesn't seem interested in rewarding their loyalty.
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Quick Fantasy Hot-Takes
Goff signs four-year, $134M contract extension: The deal includes a NFL record $110M in guaranteed money. Goff is now signed through the 2024 season. Not much fantasy impact here but now the Rams can plan out their future & cap around this mega deal.
Fitzgerald, Kirk and Crabtree listed as starting WRs for Arizona: Interesting that neither of the rookies cracked the Top 3 (Andy Isabella & KeeSean Johnson). Maybe Hakeem Butler would've had a shot if was able to play. Also if you need a super deep sleeper, Charles Clay will be Arizona's starting TE. With how much this offense is being pumped up by the hypebeasts out there, every player here is worth a second thought. If I had to pick one of the trio, it's gotta be Fitz. Crabtree was stick-a-fork-in-him-done like three years ago and I'm not entirely convinced the Cardinals believe in Kirk. They did draft like 18 WRs after all.
Falcons, Jones "very, very close" to new deal: The owner said they're close so that's promising. Jones is signed through 2020 already. He's 30 this year and it'll be interesting to see how far they push this out. Really big, athletic WRs tend to break down rather quickly so while he's still a beast, a new contract presents a thin line to walk.
Pettis No. 1 on unofficial 49ers depth chart: Well, maybe it was all reverse psychology to keep the talented and borderline overhyped Dante Pettis in check. We don't know what to make of this group yet. Dynasty owners have been fawning over Deebo Samuel. Hopefully a few of these guys step up and put together a memorable season because this entire offense is a question mark in my book.
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