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DeSean Jackson excited about joining Sean McVay, Matthew Stafford with Los Angeles Rams



THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Wide receiver DeSean Jackson hit the trifecta when he signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams in free agency.

In addition to returning to L.A., where he grew up in nearby Crenshaw, Jackson also reunites with coach Sean McVay, who was his offensive coordinator for three seasons in Washington, and will play a key role for a team that’s expected to contend for a Super Bowl.

“I look at it almost like when LeBron went back to Cleveland and won the championship for Cleveland, Ohio, so that’s what I’m here for,” Jackson said during an introductory video conference Friday. “That’s all I’m really worried about.”

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Jackson emphasized that he’s no longer concerned about personal accolades going into his 14th NFL season. He’s recorded the most 60-plus-yard touchdowns (24) in NFL history and ranks sixth all time in yards per reception (17.4).

“At this point in my career, I’m about winning,” said Jackson, who has advanced to the postseason six times and has appeared in eight playoff games, including the NFC Championship Game during the 2008 season.

In four seasons under McVay, the Rams have made three playoff appearances, won two division titles and a conference championship.

Coming off a 10-6 season and a divisional playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Rams return three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald and All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the NFL’s top-ranked defense in 2020.

On offense, the Rams completed a blockbuster trade this month to acquire quarterback Matthew Stafford, who will lead a unit that includes receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, tight end Tyler Higbee, running back Cam Akers and now Jackson.

“To be on a team that’s capable of having a push into late December, January and obviously February where the Super Bowl is, for me that’s my No. 1 goal,” said Jackson, who turned 34 in December.

Uncertainty remains whether NFL teams will be allowed to conduct in-person offseason programs because of ongoing coronavirus restrictions, but Jackson said he has spoken with Stafford and the two plan to train together.

“That dude is a beast; his arm is out of the world,” Jackson said. “So I’m excited to — I’m gonna say, ‘Man, just, I’m gonna run far, you just throw it far and hopefully we can beat everybody.'” Jackson, who was sidelined for the majority of the past two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles because of injuries, said he had other options in free agency but emphasized his desire to reunite with McVay, whose offense he thrived in with Washington.

“For me, that’s something that was very intriguing to be able to come back and re-emerge with somebody that really knows me,” said Jackson, who had 1,000-plus receiving yard seasons with McVay in 2014 and 2016. “So I think it’s going to be a [re-emergence] because he knows me. He knows how to utilize me, and he’s going to be put me in the best positions to win.”

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Bruce Arians to Tampa Bay Buccaneers



TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians hasn’t felt the need to bring in a specialist to talk to his players about the COVID-19 vaccine, which some players leaguewide have expressed skepticism about in recent days.

While Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera brought Harvard immunologist Kizzmekia S. Corbett in to speak to his players Tuesday night, Arians said Thursday, “I’m the specialist.”

He told players, “If you want to go back to normal, get vaccinated.”

Arians said the Bucs are holding a vaccine drive for players and their families at the facility.

“There’s going to be a long line over there right now,” Arians said. “We were pretty short up until now. Hopefully we have a pretty good line.”

Previous vaccine drives have also taken place at the facility for coaches and support staff members. The goal is to have 85% of the team vaccinated, which Arians feels they’ll be much closer to after the drive.

“Everybody’s tired of meeting out here and eating outside, and doing all those things we had to do last year,” Arians said. “It’s still a personal choice, but I don’t see a reason not to be vaccinated.”

When asked if any players expressed concern or skepticism, as Washington’s Montez Sweat did Wednesday, Arians said, “I haven’t spoken to anybody that’s resisted it. They’re just too lazy to get one.”

Outside linebacker Shaq Barrett said he and his wife, Jordanna, both received the vaccine. Their four children aren’t old enough to qualify for the vaccine at this time, as the CDC currently recommends children ages 12 and older receive vaccines.

Barrett missed the season finale against the Atlanta Falcons because he was a close contact of a teammate who tested positive, despite never testing positive himself. Still, he was forced to quarantine for five days. His children were home-schooled in 2020 and did not have play dates with other children because of concerns about the virus.

“It’s ‘to each their own.’ I recommend it,” Barrett said Thursday. “I don’t know why people wouldn’t get it. But whatever makes you comfortable, whatever helps you sleep at night, you do that. But I would like for 85% of the team to be vaccinated.”

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Kansas City Chiefs hope Kyle Long back by start of regular season after leg injury in practice



KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs are hopeful guard Kyle Long can return for the start of the regular season after he injured his leg Wednesday, sources told ESPN.

Long was signed by the Chiefs in the offseason after he ended his retirement after one year. He wrote about the injury on Thursday on his Twitter account.

“I did everything I could to get back for football,” Long said. “Zero regrets. … Focusing on controlling the things I can control. Yesterday was not one of those things!”

Long, 32, was working as the starting right guard at offseason practice. Other candidates to start include Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and rookie Trey Smith.

Drafted 20th overall by the Chicago Bears in 2013, Long missed just one game over his first three seasons, in which he was selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls, but appeared in just 30 regular-season contests over his last four years with the team because of a variety of injuries. He announced his retirement in January of last year.

NFL Network first reported that Long had suffered a leg injury.

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Fantasy Football cheat sheets – Updated 2021 player rankings, PPR, non-PPR, depth charts, dynasty



If you’re seeking a one-stop shop for updated 2021 fantasy football rankings and cheat sheets throughout the summer, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you will find them for PPR and non-PPR formats, as well as dynasty leagues.

PPR positional cheat sheet

One sheet with players broken down by position, including overall rank, salary-cap value and bye weeks for leagues that award one point for each catch. Download »

PPR top-300 cheat sheet

This sheet features 300 players in order of overall draft value, with positional rank, salary-cap value and bye-week information for leagues that reward each catch with a point. Download »

Non-PPR positional cheat sheet

For leagues using the scoring format that doesn’t award an extra point for each reception. One sheet with players broken down by position, including overall rank, salary-cap value and bye weeks. Download »

Non-PPR top-300 cheat sheet

This sheet features 300 players in order of overall draft value, with positional rank, salary-cap value and bye-week information. Download »

Mike Clay’s team-by-team projection guide

If you want the full breakdown for all 32 teams, you’ve come to the right place. Download »

NFL team depth chart cheat sheet

Fantasy depth charts for each NFL team: top two QBs, three running backs, four wide receivers, two tight ends and a kicker. Prioritized by fantasy value in PPR leagues rather than role defined on a traditional NFL depth chart, includes players’ positional ranks. Download »

Dynasty cheat sheet

Features the top 240 players and 60 best rookies to make all of your keeper and dynasty league decisions. Includes the age of players at the start of the 2021 season. Download »

*All cheat sheets are in PDF format. Your device must be equipped with a PDF reader for you to access and print the cheat sheet.

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