The Houston Texans released running back Duke Johnson on Friday, according to a source. Johnson was set to have a salary cap hit of more than $5 million, so the team will move on instead. After playing in all 16 games in his first season with Houston in 2019 while carrying the ball 83 times for 410 yards and two touchdowns -- he also caught 44 passes for 410 yards and three more scores -- Johnson played in only 11 games in 2020 and had 77 carries for 235 yards and a TD while adding 28 catches for 249 yards and another score. The 27-year-old spent four years in Cleveland before a trade sent him to Houston in 2019. The Texans could also decide to cut David Johnson after acquiring him from the Cardinals in the swap that included All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins when former head coach Bill O'Brien was still calling the shots.Feb 26 · Source via Texans Duke Johnson
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has not demanded a trade, according to his agent, Mark Rodgers. Wilson wants to stay in Seattle and has a no-trade clause, but if a trade were considered, the only teams he would play for would be the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders or Chicago Bears. Another reason a trade is unlikely: Wilson has a pre-June 1 dead salary cap number of $39 million ($7 million in savings). He also carries a post-June 1 dead cap number of $13 million in 2021 ($19 million saved) and $26 million dead cap number in 2022. The 32-year-old has made the Pro Bowl in seven of his nine seasons in the NFL and was on pace to be the MVP in 2020 before Seattle's offense crumbled in the second half. Wilson is ultimately expected to remain with the Seahawks and mend his relationship with them, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that he's traded. He's likely to remain a top-tier QB1 no matter where he's playing in 2021.
Buddy Take There are enough reports floating around that Wilson very likely is disgruntled with his current situation, but end of the day, it seems very unlikely he'll be playing in another uniform next season.Feb 25 · Source via Seahawks Russell Wilson
The Houston Texans remain unwilling to talk about quarterback Deshaun Watson with other teams, with some clubs resorting to leaving voicemails with their trade offers, according to sources. Watson spoke with head coach David Culley recently, but the two have yet to meet in person. The 25-year-old franchise signal-caller hasn't backed off his demands to be dealt, but the Texans aren't budging. This situation will continue to be the biggest offseason storyline as we head into the new league year next month. Even without All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins as his top receiver in 2020, Watson finished as the No. 4 fantasy QB behind Josh Allen, Kyler Murray and Aaron Rodgers. He could land in a better situation if he's ultimately traded, but even if he stays in Houston, Watson will be a top-tier, dual-threat fantasy quarterback.Feb 25 · Source via Texans Deshaun Watson
It's looking more likely that Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will remain with the team in 2021, while backup Marcus Mariota has been the subject of trade calls. Mariota is due $10 million in the final year of his contract and would probably get a chance to return to a starting gig under center in the NFL if he is dealt to another team. The Raiders remain committed to Carr under head coach Jon Gruden, which is why it's unlikely that Mariota will remain with the black and silver. The 27-year-old Mariota looked really good in relief of an injured Carr against the division-rival Chargers late in the season and he still can make things happen with his legs, but he'd merely be a low-end QB2 if he's traded and winds up starting for another organization in 2021.Feb 22 · Source via Raiders Derek Carr Marcus Mariota
Chicago White Sox first baseman and 2020 American League MVP Jose Abreu has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be away from the team for the next several days. General manager Rick Hahn said that Abreu is "completely asymptomatic" and "frustrated." The 34-year-old slugger is in his eighth season with the White Sox and is expected to be the centerpiece of the team's powerful lineup after he hit .317 with 19 home runs and led the major leagues with 60 RBI in the shortened 2020 season. The three-time All-Star had some mild symptoms last month but should be just fine. Fantasy managers should expect Abreu to be ready for Opening Day. His current 36 ADP shows that the fantasy community isn't expecting another MVP-caliber season in his age-34 season.Feb 24 · RotoBaller White Sox Jose Abreu
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger (shoulder) is expected to be ready for Opening Day, according to manager Dave Roberts. Bellinger underwent shoulder surgery in November after injuring it in the final game of the World Series, but it wasn't expected to limit him at all entering the 2021 season. After winning the National League MVP in 2019 when he hit .305/.406/.629 with a career-high 47 home runs, 115 RBI and 15 stolen bases, Bellinger failed to replicate those lofty numbers when he hit just .239/.333/.455 with 12 homers, 30 RBI and six steals in 56 games over the shortened 2020 season. Despite the down season, the left-handed slugger only saw slight regression in his strikeout and walk rates, so he could easily bounce back this year. Draft him as a strong No. 1 fantasy outfielder with a high floor in the second round.Feb 23 · RotoBaller Dodgers Cody Bellinger
Detroit Tigers first baseman/third baseman Spencer Torkelson, the team's top prospect per MLB Pipeline, put on a show in batting practice at spring training on Monday during the team's first full-squad workout. Torkelson will get his first look at live pitching on Tuesday, and he could see quite a few at-bats when spring training games actually begin with Jonathan Schoop, Renato Nunez, Isaac Paredes, Victor Reyes, Nomar Mazara and Aderlin Rodriguez unlikely to be cleared to join camp until at least the weekend. Torkelson will work exclusively at third base in camp, unless the Tigers need an emergency first baseman. The 21-year-old slugger is a consensus top-10 overall prospect entering the 2021 season and is a must-own in dynasty/keeper leagues for his plus-plus power and hitting skills.Feb 22 · RotoBaller Tigers Spencer Torkelson
The Milwaukee Brewers are one of about half a dozen other teams that seem to be considering free-agent outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. Bradley is reportedly seeking a contract of more than four years and $50 million. Bradley is now 31 years old and is not going to develop the power/speed many foretold when he was younger. With that being said, his defense is elite and should keep him in contention for playing time. If the Brewers were to land Bradley, he'd likely be a platoon/bench player and likely wouldn't be relevant in terms of fantasy production.Feb 22 · RotoBaller Brewers Jackie Bradley Jr.
Seattle Mariners president and CEO Kevin Mather said that outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic will start the 2021 season in the minor leagues after Kelenic and his representation rejected the team's six-year contract extension offer with options. "We would like him to get a few more at-bats in the minor leagues, probably Triple-A Tacoma for a month. Then he will likely be in left field at T-Mobile Park for the next six or seven years, and then he'll be a free agent," Mather said. The No. 4 prospect in all of baseball, per MLB Pipeline, was frustrated that he wasn't called up last season after he hit .291/.364/.540 at High-A and Double-A in 2019 in 117 games while hitting 23 home runs and driving in 68 runs. While Seattle will hold him back a little longer to manipulate his service time, Kelenic should be a starting outfielder for the M's for the majority of the 2021 season.
Buddy Take I recently added Kelenic as my fifth OF at pick 221 in a 10-team, best ball points league. That is right about bang on his NFBC ADP.Feb 21 · RotoBaller Mariners Jarred Kelenic