Matt Ryan - QB - Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan said Monday, June 24, he's happy with his team's selections of G Chris Lindstrom and OT Kaleb McGary in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. 'I'm really excited about those guys ... they're tough, they're physical, they move well and it's gonna be a lot of fun to play behind them,' Ryan said.
Huddle Up: Ryan was sacked 42 times in 2018, the most since 2013. Only seven quarterbacks were sacked more times than Ryan in 2018. Some extra time to make his reads could only help Ryan improve on a third-ranked interception percentage of 1.2 from last season.
Matt Ryan - QB - Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan said Monday, June 24, he's excited to be reunited with offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. Koetter served as the Falcons offensive coordinator from 2012-14 before leaving to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers first as offensive coordinator in 2015, and then as head coach from 2016-18. He was re-hired on January 8 after being fired by the Buccaneers. He'll replace Steve Sarkisian, who spent the last two years as Atlanta's offensive coordinator.
Huddle Up: Ryan completed 67.4 percent of his passes for 13,928 yards and 86 touchdowns against 45 interceptions over Koetter's three-year run in Atlanta. Ryan was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012 and 2014. The 34-year-old is being taken as the sixth quarterback in standard (non-PPR) fantasy drafts. He's a safe option for those who don't like to gamble at QB.
Josh Adams - RB - Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles RB Josh Adams could very well be on the outside looking in when final cuts are announced given his overall lack of versatility, in the opinion of NBC Sports Philadelphia's Reuben Frank.
Huddle Up: Frank makes a solid case for how Adams can make the team, as he flashed big-play ability prior to hurting his shoulder seriously enough to need surgery to repair a torn labrum. He cites the Eagles' running back depth as the main reason why the second-year runner may be out of a job, as Philadelphia added Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard to a group that already included Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood. Either way, Adams figures to struggle for fantasy relevancy if he remains in Philadelphia.
Amari Cooper - WR - Oakland Raiders
Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper told reporters Monday, June 24, he isn't thinking about his expiring contract but stated,' I do want to be a Dallas Cowboy for a long time.'
Huddle Up: Cooper also said in a recent interview with Pro Football Talk his goal for 2019 is 2,000 receiving yards - which would be an NFL record. It's obviously an unrealistic goal, as the 25-year-old would have finished with just under 1,300 yards receiving if his nine-game totals with Dallas were extrapolated over a 16-game season. The good news for fantasy owners is he was also on a 94-catch and 10-touchdown pace with the Cowboys. If he can come close to those marks this season, he'll be a solid WR1.
Marcus Mariota - QB - Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota has been encouraged to take fewer hits by general manager Jon Robinson. 'The thing I've stressed to him, and I know our coaches have stressed to him is, Let's live to play another play,' Robinson said. 'Don't take that hit. If you feel the pocket coming down on you and you take off running, and the 'backer is coming off of coverage and he's coming screaming at you, throw the ball away. It's OK to punt, we'll get another crack at it. That's the main thing, it's stressing to him - to try as best as possible, like all quarterbacks do, to avoid getting hit.'
Huddle Up: Mariota's durability has been a problem with nagging injuries throughout his career. It has suppressed him to a low-end QB1 in fantasy.
Devin Funchess - WR - Carolina Panthers
Indianapolis Colts WR Devin Funchess produced mixed results during organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp, according to beat writer Kevin Bowen, although head coach Frank Reich said he was 'very encouraged' by what he saw during spring practices. 'We knew right away, you could tell day one that he was smart. (He was) not going to have a problem grasping the system,' Reich said. 'Then it's just a question of getting used to the way we do things, the way we teach things and then our schemes. I just thought he showed a very high aptitude for that.'
Huddle Up: To be fair, Funchess is learning a new system and getting acclimated to a new team, and he didn't have the luxury of working with Andrew Luck, who was held out of the offseason program. Funchess struggled with Jacoby Brissett, but he won't be working with him unless disaster strikes. Based on his struggles in 2018, Funch is only worth a late-round roster spot, but he could very well emerge as the No. 2 in Indy, and a decent WR4 or flex fantasy option sooner rather than later.
Matt Breida - RB - San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers RB Matt Breida will be in a crowded backfield heading into 2019 as long as everyone is healthy.
Huddle Up: Breida will be in a fierce battle in training camp and the preseason with Tevin Coleman, Jerick McKinnon, Raheem Mostert and Jeffery Wilson. Coleman is considered the frontrunner at this point, so Breida might be battling McKinnon to be up during the regular season if everyone is healthy, as Mostert is considered a lock due to his prowess on special teams.
Raheem Mostert - RB - San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert is expected to be one of three running backs active during the regular season since he is the team's best special-teams player.
Huddle Up: Mostert has shown in the past that he can be effective running the ball, but that's unlikely to be his role in 2019 with the likes of Tevin Coleman, Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida creating a logjam in the backfield. He has minimal fantasy appeal as long as everyone is healthy and ready to play.
San Francisco 49ers RB Jeffery Wilson faces an uphill climb for a roster spot with RBs Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, Jerick McKinnon and Raheem Mostert in the crowded backfield.
Huddle Up: Wilson posted 266 rushing yards in six games with two starts in 2018, and he also added 98 yards on 12 receptions. If everyone is healthy and the 49ers can't find a way to keep him, Wilson won't take long to find another job. He is a risky fantasy option heading into 2019 due to his murky outlook.
Tevin Coleman - RB - Atlanta Falcons
San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman is considered the odds-on favorite to be the closest thing to a lead back, beat writer Matt Maiocco suggests, especially since he has a history in head coach Kyle Shanahan's system.
Huddle Up: Coleman was the only player among Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert to practice during the offseason, so he likely has a leg up, too. He is likely your best bet when diving into the San Francisco running back pool on draft day.
Jerick McKinnon - RB - San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers RB Jerick McKinnon (knee) is expected to receive clearance near the start of training camp, as he makes his way back from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Huddle Up: The Niners have depth at the position with Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, so McKinnon won't be rushed back until he is 100 percent. It also wouldn't be surprising to see him as a healthy inactive early in the season as a precaution, as long as Coleman and Breida are healthy themselves. As such, McKinnon is a risky fantasy proposition heading into 2019.
Ronald Jones - RB - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones said he is focused on putting last year behind him and earning his opportunities going forward. Jones also said that he has spent more time watching the veteran backs to learn how to be a pro and has simplified how he catches passes.
Huddle Up: Jones has received positive marks from the coaching staff this offseason, and it sounds like he is trying to put his disastrous rookie season behind him. Of course, it remains to be seen if he will ever produce on the field, but if he puts it all together, he could take over the Tampa Bay backfield and emerge as a RB2. He's a great lottery ticket to grab later in drafts.
Chase Edmonds - RB - Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals RB Chase Edmonds will have a 'really nice role in the offense' this season, according to head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Huddle Up: Kingsbury has also said he plans to use David Johnson as the feature back, so Edmonds isn't likely to have a big enough role to be more than a handcuff for fantasy owners in redraft leagues. That being said, he is an intriguing stash candidate in dynasty formats.
Hunter Henry - TE - Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers TE Hunter Henry has been making impressive catches during spring practices, according to head coach Anthony Lynn. 'Hunter is just doing what Hunter Henry does,' Lynn said. 'He makes plays.'
Huddle Up: Henry's ability has never been questioned, but an injury derailed what was supposed to be a breakout 2018 campaign. A year later, his upside hasn't changed, and Henry should be viewed as a low-end TE1 candidate.
Austin Ekeler - RB - Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler said he has focused on improving his route running during the offseason.
Huddle Up: Ekeler has shown some explosiveness as a change-of-pace back to Melvin Gordon, finishing with 959 total yards ad 39 catches last year. He he is too inconsistent to start as a long as Gordon is healthy, but Gordon owners will want to have Ekeler as a handcuff.
Sony Michel - RB - New England Patriots
New England Patriots RB Sony Michel (knee) has been working out at QB Tom Brady's TB12 training facility this offseason while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery in hopes of becoming a more explosive runner.
Huddle Up: Michel, a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, will be competing for work with James White, Rex Burkhead, and 2019 third-rounder Damien Harris in 2019. Michel projects to lead the backfield after racking up 981 yards from scrimmage and six total touchdowns last season, but he'll be a risky pick in New England's constantly shuffling rotation.
Peyton Barber - RB - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Peyton Barber is still held in high regard by the team, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. Auman adds the 25-year-old was the first rusher in the last five years to rack up 250-plus touches but fail to compile 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 2018.
Huddle Up: Barber scored six total touchdowns last year on 963 yards from scrimmage. An undrafted free-agent signing in 2016, he outperformed rookie second-rounder Ronald Jones II in 2018, but Jones' draft pedigree is likely to ensure he gets another look at a full workload as a sophomore. Barber has a decent floor as a mid-round selection, but he doesn't have a very high ceiling.
James Conner - RB - Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner finished with a 34.9 breakaway percentage in 2018, meaning that 340 of his 972 rushing yards came on plays of 15 or more yards.
Huddle Up: Conner had a breakout season in more than one way as he stepped in for Le'Veon Bell, but the campaign was cut short by an ankle injury. This year, he won't sneak up on anyone as a low-end RB1 entering the summer.
Sony Michel - RB - New England Patriots
New England Patriots RB Sony Michel (knee) has been running at 'full tilt' after recovering from offseason arthroscopic knee surgery, according to multiple sources. He was unable to participate in the team's minicamp last month but should be ready for the start of training camp.
Huddle Up: Michel will continue to receive the bulk of the carries in the New England offense in 2019 and should be viewed as a solid RB2 option in most fantasy football leagues.
James Conner - RB - Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner gained 340 of his 972 rushing yards on runs of 15 yards or longer last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
Huddle Up: For the sake of comparison, Conner's breakaway percentage (the percentage of yards gained on runs of at least 15 yards) of 35 percent ranked sixth among running backs with at least 200 carries. Much has been made this spring about Pittsburgh sharing the load in the backfield this season in an attempt to keep Conner fresh for games in November and December. Regardless of whether or not the Steelers end up spreading the wealth, it's likely Conner will remain firmly in the RB1 conversation.