5 things you need to know for Saturday
Good morning football fans! Here are the five things you need to know coming out of Friday to get your morning started right:
- The New Orleans Saints appear determined to improve RB Adrian Peterson’s receiving skills in 2017. Peterson has been focusing on those skills in OTAs after never having more than 43 receptions or 53 targets in his career with the Minnesota Vikings. In his last year with significant playing time — 2015 — Peterson had a career-low 49.9 receiving grade and averaged only 1.0 yard per route run. Now with the Saints, though, he’s joining an offense that has long made use of its running backs as receivers.
- A third-round pick only a year ago, some reports out of Miami indicate that Dolphins WR Leonte Carroo is no sure thing to make the team’s roster in 2017. Carroo had only six targets as a rookie, catching three for 29 yards and a touchdown. His 54.9 overall grade would have ranked 97th out of 115 receivers if he had played enough to qualify. That said, Carroo ranked second in the country in yards per route run in college in 2015 with 4.65.
- The New York Giants are trying to make the most of their first-round pick from this year’s draft, with tight end Evan Engram lining up in several positions in OTAs. The Ole Miss product saw time in the slot, inline, and as a fullback in college in 2016, with very little time lined up outside, but he’s lined up at all four so far at OTAs. Giants tight ends combined for just 73 yards from the slot in 2016, so if Engram can contribute there it will be a big improvement for that unit.
- The Los Angeles Rams have added a bevy of receivers to the roster in the last two years. Before this year’s draft class, the team picked up Pharoh Cooper, Nelson Spruce, and Mike Thomas in 2016, and now those three will be battling for roster space in 2017. Each has strengths—Cooper and Thomas were strong deep weapons in college, while; Spruce had the No. 14 drop rate out of 97 receivers in 2015 — but it’s hard to imagine they can all make the roster with Tavon Austin, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and Josh Reynolds all there as well.
- Completing his countdown of the top games of the 2016 season by his Actual Opportunity metric, PFF Senior Fantasy Analyst Scott Barrett unveiled Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson’s Week 7 game against the Seattle Seahawks as No. 1. That might be a surprise, as the performance came in a 6-6 tie against the Seahawks in a game that had no touchdowns at all, but Johnson had 33 carries and 13 targets in the game, going for 171 total yards with the 25th-most touches any player has ever had in a game. His lack of scoring kept his actual fantasy total a bit low in the game, but by Actual Opportunity Johnson was in line for 37.7 fantasy points.