|Spiller set to return kicks|
Bills running back to be used on special teams
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 4 2014, 8:00 am
|He hasn’t made a kick return for the Bills since 2011, but RB C.J. Spiller will be the lead man on kick returns this season. Buffalo’s depth chart has Spiller is listed as the starting kick returner ahead of last year’s starter Marquise Goodwin. Head coach Doug Marrone confirmed Wednesday that Spiller will be used on kick returns. (BuffaloBills.com)|
FFToday's Take: Spiller gets some added value in leagues that provided fantasy points for return yardage but also gets the added injury risk that comes with task. Marrone went to say that he sees Spiller as 20-touch per game player. "I think with the right touches yes, I do,” he said. “With the right touches yes and where they come from. Every which way you can get him the ball, (a guy) who is an explosive playmaker, yes (you do it)."
| Jordan Reed practices fully, Orakpo limited|
Tight end dealing with sprained thumb
By: Jake Gordon | Sep 3 2014, 6:20 pm
|Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo was limited in Wednesday’s practice by a sprained ankle, according to the Redskins’ injury report. Tight end Jordan Reed practiced fully despite receiving treatment for a thumb injury.
FFToday's Take: After an initial scare last week, Jordan Reed (thumb) has been able to return to practice fully and should be in starting lineups for week one. Meanwhile, Brian Orakpo is looking like a risky play in IDP leagues.
| TE Rob Gronkowski limited in practice|
Aaron Dobson not listed on injury report
By: Jake Gordon | Sep 3 2014, 5:42 pm
|The New England Patriots will head into their Week 1 at Miami with little injury concern, except for the All-Pro tight end who may or may not play.
Rob Gronkowski, recovering from ACL surgery, was among four Patriots listed as limited participants in Wednesday's practice. On Monday, Gronkowski told reporters he'd be playing against the Dolphins, but on Tuesday Bill Belichick said "I'm glad Rob is optimistic, but in the end we'll have to make the decision that's best for the team."
A key player who had missed preseason time, wide receiver Aaron Dobson (foot), was not listed on the injury report. (Masslive.com)|
FFToday's Take: Those who drafted Rob Gronkowski knew he might be limited for the season opener and should already have a backup plan in place. Even if he continues to practice this week, he would likely be limited against the Dolphins. After missing a chunk of time, Aaron Dobson (foot) looks to be at full health and should be worked back into the offense right out of the gate. He remains a player to watch in all formats and is worth stashing in deep leagues.
|Matt Cassel not on a short leash?|
Vikings fans might have to wait for Bridgewater's time
By: Jake Gordon | Sep 3 2014, 3:53 pm
|Head coach Mike Zimmer knows he must walk a tightrope at quarterback. He wishes he could hold Cassel and Bridgewater to the same standard as he plans to hold the other positions, and go with whoever is playing best at that point in time. But he acknowledged that the ripple effect is more significant when changing quarterbacks than when changing out starters at other positions.
“That’s something you have to consider,” Zimmer said. “With every position, even with the middle linebacker or the safety, you don’t want to make, as you say, a knee-jerk decision just because they don’t play well one day or do the things you think they’re capable of. I think you still have to go on what you see every day in practice and what you see in the preseason.”
That’s why Zimmer said he doesn’t foresee the Vikings making a change early in the season.
“I know the fans are excited about Teddy. I’m excited about Teddy,” Zimmer said. “But we have to do what’s best for the football team at this point in time and what’s best for the future."
FFToday's Take: It looks like Matt Cassel will get a real shot to be the team's quarterback for the entire 2014 season. Based on Mike Zimmer's recent comments, it will take multiple poor outings before he considers giving Cassel the hook in favor of rookie Teddy Bridgewater. As a result, fantasy owners should be able to count on Cassel leading the offense for at least the first third of the season.
| Cam Newton good to go for Sunday|
Ribs sore after practice
By: Jake Gordon | Sep 3 2014, 3:30 pm
|#Panthers confident Cam Newton is good for Sunday. Was sore (ribs) today after throwing Mon & pre-practice. (Ian Rappaport via Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Cam Newton is one of several players nursing sore ribs coming into week one. He has already missed some practice time this week while backup Derek Anderson has led the first team. Nonetheless, expect the Panthers to give Newton the nod on Sunday. Carolina will likely try to minimize the number of hits their starting quarterback takes by leaning heavily on the running game. Carolina receivers should be downgraded slightly until Newton is at full speed.
| Packers' TE Brandon Bostick out Week 1|
Richard Rodgers will get the start
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 3 2014, 3:30 pm
|The Green Bay Packers completed practice Wednesday before their scheduled flight to Seattle and released their final injury report for Week 1. TE Brandon Bostick (leg) - DNP - OUT (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)|
FFToday's Take: Rookie Richard Rodgers is expected to get the start and share tight end duties with Andrew Quarless. Neither is an ideal fantasy play given the Week 1 depth at the tight end position. Fantasy owners should let this situation play itself out before committing one of the Green Bay tight ends to a starting lineup.
| Sammy Watkins practices in full|
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 3 2014, 1:00 pm
|Rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins was a full participant in practice, after a pair of rib injuries in the preseason knocked him out of two games and forced him to miss a third.
“We’re just going to wait and see for the game [on Watkins],” Marrone said, when pressed for more information. (ProFootballTalk)|
FFToday's Take: The head coach isn't going to give anything away but all indications are that Watkins will be able to play on Sunday against the Bears. Watkins was dinged twice in the ribs this preseason. The Bills looked shaky on offense which has deflated Watkins' value over the last couple weeks. His Week 1 matchup frightening, but the Bills quarterback play is.
|Wes Welker suspended four games|
Use of amphetamines
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 2 2014, 7:07 pm
|Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker has been suspended four games for use of amphetamines, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Welker was excused from practice Aug. 20-21 to attend his appeal hearing, sources told ESPN Senior NFL Analyst Chris Mortensen. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Welker will have plenty of time to get through the leagues' concussion protocol. The Broncos have a bye in Week 4 so the earliest Welker could return to the field would be Week 6. Emmanuel Sanders becomes legit WR2 option and keep in mind, the Broncos used tight end Jacob Tamme in the slot during Welker's absence last season.
| Christine Michael misses practice Tuesday|
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 2 2014, 4:00 pm
|Five players were again listed as not participating: TE Cooper Helfet (knee), RB Christine Michael (hamstring), G Lemuel Jeanpierre (neck), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (hamstring) and CB Tharold Simon (knee). (Seattle Times)|
FFToday's Take: Michael is likely headed for the inactive list on Thursday against Green Bay. He missed Monday's practice as well with a hamstring injury. Robert Turbin is the current backup behind workhorse Marshawn Lynch.
|Sankey elevated to No. 2 on Titans depth chart|
Rookie still behind Greene, but ahead of McCluster
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Sep 2 2014, 11:59 am
|Rookie running back Bishop Sankey is now the No. 2 running back, still behind Shonn Greene but now ahead of Dexter McCluster. All three will be part of the rotation and game plans and matchups will do a lot to dictate their usage. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: It's too early to say who will end up getting the bulk of carries this season, because Snakey is the more dynamic back but Greene is an experienced plodder who knows the offense. Sankey still has more upside, but Greene could end up surprising this season with decent numbers.
| Foster ready to go for Week 1|
Texans running back didn't play in preaseason games
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 2 2014, 11:30 am
|Asked how he felt, Arian Foster said, “Wonderful, physically.
“I’m excited about that (Sunday’s regular-season opener against Washington). I can’t wait to play football.” Foster missed preseason because the Texans wanted to protect him from injury. He underwent season-ending back surgery in 2013. (Houston Chronicle)|
FFToday's Take: The Texans played it safe with their star running back this preaseason choosing to sit him out of all four games. He's expected to ready to go on Sunday against the Redskins. Foster's injury risk concerned fantasy owners this summer and for good reason. He missed the majority of 2013 with a back injury and has piled up three seasons of 330-plus touches.
|QB Derek Carr will start for Raiders Week 1|
Veteran Matt Schaub passed over for rookie
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 1 2014, 5:20 pm
|Raiders players have been told that Derek Carr will be the starting quarterback over Matt Schaub, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports tweeted Monday. Schaub missed three days of practice leading up to the preseason finale against Seattle. Carr completed 11 of 13 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns as the Raiders had touchdowns in all four of his possessions. Schaub was away from the facility Friday because of a "personal issue." (Inside Bar Area)|
FFToday's Take: Schaub has been dealing with elbow tendinitis and coach Allen had indicated that he wanted to wait to evaluate Schaub today before making any decision on the starting quarterback job. Carr's hype is a little out of control and regardless of how the rookie looked in the final preseason game, he won't be a recommended fantasy option against the Jets in Week 1.
| Welker cleared for individual drills|
Has yet to be cleared for full-contact practices
By: Doug Orth | Sep 1 2014, 3:45 pm
|On Monday, WR Wes Welker (concussion) returned to practice. He will participate in individual drills but has yet to be cleared to play in the team's season-opener Sunday night against the Colts, reports USAToday.com's Lindsay Jones.
If all goes well, Welker will return to full-contact practices before he will be allowed to suit up against the Colts. The Broncos remain cautiously optimistic about those prospects.
If Welker can't go, expect Emmanuel Sanders, signed this offseason, to step into his role. (CBS Sports)|
FFToday's Take: Nine days ago, Welker suffered his third concussion in 10 months. From a fantasy perspective, the latest one turned Welker from a fairly safe WR2 in most formats into an incredibly high-risk WR3 whose career might be close to over. If he manages to play and avoid any more head trauma, he is a good bet for at least 80 catches. But that is a big if and one owners will have to weigh when drafting or trading for him.
|Moreno the "clear lead back" in Miami?|
OC suggests Lamar Miller needs to be more productive
By: Doug Orth | Sep 1 2014, 3:40 pm
|The Dolphins wanted Lamar Miller to be their starter this season and wanted him to be productive. As it stands now, he's not either. Even if Miller is the player introduced with the starters - which he might not be - it is clear Knowshon Moreno is Miami's lead running back. Miller, who was the starter and unchallenged all preseason, has lost his job as Miami's lead back.
"I've seen lots on the practice field that tells me where we're headed with Lamar and I feel very good about his ability to be productive," OC Bill Lazor said, "but if you're talking about the preseason games his production needs to improve." (Miami Herald)|
FFToday's Take: Lazor is referring to Miller's 3.4 YPC in exhibition play, as compared to Moreno's 6.4. And to be clear, Lazor did not state Miller has lost his starting job. What those stats don't say is that all of Moreno's production came against Dallas' pitiful defense. The Dolphins are kidding themselves if they are counting on Moreno to carry their ground game, so like last year, expect Miller to be involved in a full-blown committee backfield until further notice.
| Rob Gronkowski says he's playing Week 1|
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 1 2014, 10:49 am
|Rob Gronkowski says he has green light to play in the regular-season opener. Gronk: “Definitely not [playing] every single snap. But just get out there, get my feet wet, whatever we game-plan this week, will be good.” (Mike Reiss via Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: It would be nice to hear Bill Belichick echo the same but that's doubtful to happen anytime soon. It appears that the Pats tight end will be on the field Week 1 and if even if he is limited, he's worthy of being in your lineup given his high touchdown rate.
|Chiefs, Alex Smith agree on four-year extension|
$45 million in guaranteed money
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 31 2014, 7:15 pm
|The Chiefs have agreed to a new four-year contract extension with quarterback Alex Smith, a person with knowledge of the situation Sunday told The Star on Sunday.
The agreement, which includes $45 million in guaranteed money, is a significant development for the Chiefs. Smith, 30, had one year left on a contract that is set to pay him $7.5 million before the extension, which was negotiated by agent Tom Condon, kicks in for 2015. (Kansas City Star)|
FFToday's Take: The two sides have been working most of this off-season on a deal and now it has been reached. Smith is coming off a 23-touchdown, 8-interception season ranking him 16th among fantasy quarterbacks last season. He's a middle-of-the-road QB2 that will need to repeat his late-season numbers to be considered a QB1.
|Texans acquire QB Ryan Mallett, release Keenum|
Patriots receive conditional seventh-round pick in 2016
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 31 2014, 1:37 pm
|The Texans traded for former New England quarterback Ryan Mallett on Sunday.
The Patriots received a 2016 conditional seventh-round pick in return. (Houston Chronicle)|
FFToday's Take: The Texans released quarterback Case Keenum after the acquisition. Mallet was taken in the third-round of the 2011 draft by the Patriots but has thrown less than 10 passes in the regular season. Malett and Tom Savage will compete for the backup quarterback job behind Ryan Fitzpatrick.
|Browns rolling with two rookie RBs behind Tate|
Isaiah Crowell makes team as third running back
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 30 2014, 10:15 am
|The Browns have cut running back Chris Ogbonnaya, a league source tells cleveland.com.
With tailback Dion Lewis being cut earlier in the day, that leaves rookie running back Isaiah Crowell as the third running back for now. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)|
FFToday's Take: It's not out of the question that the Browns would bring in another veteran running back, but for now Terrance West and Crowell are the immediate backups to Ben Tate. Crowell rumbled for 102 yards and a TD on the 13 carries Thursday night, locking himself into a roster spot.
|Redskins release three running backs|
Evan Royster, Lache Seastrunk and Chris Thompson
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 30 2014, 7:29 am
|The Washington Redskins resumed roster cuts on Saturday morning, releasing running backs Evan Royster, Lache Seastrunk and Chris Thompson, according to people with knowledge of the situation. (Washington Post)|
FFToday's Take: Seastrunk is a candidate for the practice squad and will likely land there if no other team claims him. This move mean undrafted free agent Silas Redd has made the team and will operate as the third running back behind Alfred Morris and Roy Helu. Redd lead the team this preseason in rushing with 157 yards on 34 carries.
|Bills sign QB Kyle Orton|
Orton not ready to retire just yet
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 29 2014, 11:00 pm
|The Buffalo Bills have agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent quarterback Kyle Orton, a source told ESPN.com.
Buffalo was in search of a veteran backup behind struggling starting quarterback EJ Manuel. Earlier this week the Bills signed Jordan Palmer and promptly released him, which paved the way for Orton. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: The Cowboys released the veteran quarterback in July and while Orton had kicked around the possibility of retirement but in Buffalo he has more than a punchers chance of playing given the uneven play of Manuel this preseason. Jeff Tuel remains on the roster but if a change is made from Manuel during the year it's likely Orton that will get call.
|Law Firm gets the boot|
Bengals release running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 29 2014, 3:16 pm
|The moment running back Jeremy Hill was selected in the second round of this year's draft, the writing appeared to be on the wall for veteran BenJarvus Green-Ellis. That was confirmed Friday when the team opted to release him. (Cincinnati Enquirer)|
FFToday's Take: We figured this was coming and the Bengals made it official today. BJGE, 29, was set to make $3 million this year. Cedric Peerman and Rex Burkhead will make the final roster as backups to Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. Green-Ellis may catch on with another team but he's not likely to be a fantasy factor in 2014.
|Raiders Week 1 starting quarterback unclear|
Derek Carr creating buzz after final preseason game
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 29 2014, 1:00 pm
|There is a very good chance that Matt Schaub's sore elbow won't be getting any better this week. Rookie Derek Carr led the Raiders on four straight touchdown drives to open the game Thursday night. "The great thing is that we have three guys that can be starting quarterbacks for us," head coach Dennis Allen said after the game, throwing Matt McGloin in the mix as well. "I am very happy with the quarterback room. We have to see where Matt (Schaub) is when he comes in on Monday. (San Francisco Chronicle)|
FFToday's Take: Schaub has been dealing with tendinitis in his elbow and beat writers have noted that Matt McGloin has looked like the best quarterback during camp. After the game last night, head coach Dennis Allen wasn't as firm in his stance that Schaub will start Week 1. The Raiders quarterback situation is one to avoid in fantasy drafts
|Jerome Simpson suspended three games|
Violating the NFL substance abuse policy
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 29 2014, 11:15 am
|Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson’s three-game suspension for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Abuse of Substances was upheld by the NFL. Simpson missed practice on Aug. 18 to meet with the league in New York to appeal the suspension stemming from a drunken-driving arrest last season. (Minneapolis Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: This is the second time Simpson has been suspended. He served a three-game suspension back in 2012 for a drug arrest. Simpson is undraftable at this point and no better than fourth on the depth chart behind Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings and Jarius Wright.
|Jeremy Hill's 26 touches a learning experience|
Bengals missing many RBs in final preseason game
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 29 2014, 8:00 am
|The second-round pick from LSU touched the ball 26 times for 160 yards -- including 20 for 123 in the first half alone. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said he utilized Jeremy Hill so much just so he could get a feel for what a heavy workload could be like in the regular season. (Cincinnati.com)|
FFToday's Take: It's unusual for a player expected to contribute on a regular basis to get so much work in the final preseason game. However, the Bengals were also thin at the running back position with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cedric Peerman and Rex Burkhead out with injury last night. Hill is locked in as Bernard's backup and should see 8-10 touches per week.
| Sammy Watkins leaves with rib injury|
Bills receiver suffers yet another rib injury this preseason
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 28 2014, 6:58 pm
|WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) downgraded to out for the game. (Tim Graham via Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Watkins initially injured his ribs earlier this preseason and it appears the hit he took was on the same side (left). Watkins and starting QB EJ Manuel started the fourth preseason game because the Bills No.1 offensive unit has been putrid this preseason. More to come on the severity of Watkins' injury...
| Steven Jackson to play in preseason finale|
Falcons RB looks to put hamstring injury behind him
By: Doug Orth | Aug 28 2014, 5:40 pm
|RB Steven Jackson is suited up and in uniform. Looks like he's playing (in the preseason finale versus Jacksonville). (Jay Adams on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: It is highly doubtful the 31-year-old will see more than a handful of snaps and is probably just trying to do what he can to put his mind at ease for the season opener against New Orleans next Sunday. His age and history of soft-tissue injuries are the primary reasons why he has slipped into the middle rounds in most fantasy drafts, but he has high-end RB2 potential in what should be an explosive offense again in Atlanta.
|Benny Cunningham creating buzz in St. Louis|
Second-year RB pushing Zac Stacy for playing time?
By: Doug Orth | Aug 28 2014, 5:25 pm
|If Benny Cunningham isn’t challenging Zac Stacy for the starting job, he’s certainly pushing him for playing time. He’s been the best Rams RB on the field this preseason. And what to do with Tre Watts? A strong showing against the Dolphins could push him into a roster spot. If so, that would be five RBs on the squad again, which is a lot assuming Chase Reynolds makes the squad. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)|
FFToday's Take: Incumbent starter Zac Stacy has averaged 2.6 YPC on 15 attempts this preseason while Cunningham is sporting a solid 5.3 YPC on the same number of totes - averages that don't vary much from last season (Stacy - 3.9; Cunningham - 5.6). The preseason production itself is not a concern for Stacy owners; the fact that Cunningham is a more explosive player is. As a result, Cunningham is worth a late-round pick in fantasy drafts.
|Mike McCarthy praises WR Jarrett Boykin|
Boykin holds off rookie for No. 3 receiving role
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 28 2014, 1:15 pm
|In February, coach Mike McCarthy predicted that Boykin, who would be entering his third season, had another performance jump in him.
On Tuesday, McCarthy left no doubt that he would think he was right.
"Clearly, Jarrett Boykin has taken the next step," McCarthy said. "I just love the way he plays. He's had an excellent camp. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)|
FFToday's Take: Boykin is clearly the No.3 receiver in Green Bay ahead of rookie Davante Adams. Aaron Rodgers' third option in the passing game is a viable one for fantasy owners, making Boykin a very solid WR4 in all formats. His current ADP sits at the bottom end of the 11th round.
| Dobson expected to make preseason debut|
Recovering from foot injury
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 28 2014, 1:00 pm
|Wide receiver Aaron Dobson traveled with the Patriots to New Jersey and is expected to make his preseason debut tonight against the Giants, according to a source. Doctors inserted a screw into Dobson’s left foot to surgically repair a stress fracture March 10, and he didn’t begin practicing until Aug. 11. (Boston Herald)|
FFToday's Take: Dobson is going to have to earn his playing time as Kenbrell Thompkins and Brandon LaFell are ahead of him on the depth chart. Dobson has been injury-prone during his short career, missing five games in his rookie season with the same foot injury. He's worthy of a late-round flier in your redraft league.
| Cam Newton: I'll start Week 1|
Ribs still hurting
By: Jake Gordon | Aug 27 2014, 6:20 pm
|Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said he'll be ready to start Week 1 of the regular season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers despite fracturing his ribs last week. He is scheduled to make the trip to Pittsburgh to stay mentally connected as he has all week. Newton moved better Wednesday than he had the previous three days, throwing a few underhanded passes during a short walk-through before the team boarded a plane for Pittsburgh. (ESPN.com)|
FFToday's Take: Cam Newton (ribs) is expected to return to practice on Monday and he'll likely start the season wearing some form of extra padding that could affect his mobility. Fantasy owners should continues to monitor his progress during the week but it does not appear that Newton's week one status is in jeopardy.
| Wes Welker cleared to travel|
Not cleared for contact
By: Jake Gordon | Aug 27 2014, 4:00 pm
|ARLINGTON, Texas — Wes Welker was cleared to fly with the Broncos for their final preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Welker has not yet been medically cleared from his concussion to engage in contact, so he won't play in the game Thursday night at AT&T Stadium.
FFToday's Take: Wes Welker (concussion) is making progress but it is too soon to know if he will be available for the team's opening game. He has reached the exercise stage of recovery but he must be cleared for contact by late next week to have a chance at playing week one. Additionally, the team has insisted that Welker will return when he is fully healthy and may elect to be cautious with the veteran receiver. Not knowing if Welker will play or how many snaps he would see should have his owners seeking out a backup plan for the start of the fantasy season.
|Josh Gordon to miss the 2014 season|
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 27 2014, 1:35 pm
|Josh Gordon will miss the entire 2014 season after the NFL upheld the Cleveland Browns star's yearlong suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. "I'd like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans," Gordon said. "I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn't exercise better discretion and judgment in my case." (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Finally. You can cross Gordon of your re-draft cheatsheet for this season. The league will determine at a later date when Gordon is eligible to be reinstated. Miles Austin, Andrew Hawkins, and tight end Jordan Cameron will be the top three targets for the Browns' quarterbacks. Outside of Cameron, fantasy owners can avoid the Browns passing game.
|Ertz poised for breakout season|
Philly evolving without DeSean Jackson
By: Jake Gordon | Aug 27 2014, 3:00 am
|Zach Ertz was eased into the offense as a rookie last season by coach Chip Kelly. He played 36 percent of the offensive snaps in the Eagles' first eight games and 45 percent in the final eight. As Ertz gained experience last season, Kelly went to more two-tight end sets. The Eagles used two- and three-tight end formations only 17.5 percent of the time in the first eight games, but 37.7 percent in the last eight. "You knew when you watched him in college that he had the chance to be something special," Eagles tight ends coach Ted Williams said. "He's one of the best route-runners I've ever seen. He takes a lot of pride in that."
FFToday's Take: With an expanded role in 2014, Zach Ertz should take another step forward in overall production. However, he will have to fight for targets in an offense that also includes two capable receivers out of the backfield and a healthy Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper on the outside.
|Miller, Moreno split first team reps last two days|
Philbin non-committal on starting RB
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 26 2014, 9:46 pm
|Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno split first-team snaps the past two days. Joe Philbin said the job is open but has been far more effusive and expansive discussing Miller than Moreno this week.
"I like everything Lamar has done since he’s gotten here," Philbin said. “He’s had an excellent offseason and camp... I like everything he's done since April 21." (Miami Herald)|
FFToday's Take: Reading between the lines it appears Miller still has a leg up on the starting running back job, but in the end it's likely to be a timeshare with Moreno operating on third downs. Both backs are dicey picks in the middle of your fantasy draft.
|Patriots acquire TE Tim Wright from Buccaneers|
New England gives up G Logan Mankins
By: Mike Krueger | Aug 26 2014, 1:37 pm
|The Patriots have traded longtime Patriots guard Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for tight end Tim Wright and a fourth round draft pick, the team confirmed. (Boston.com)|
FFToday's Take: Wright finished 13 among fantasy tight ends last season and should fit well into the Patriots offense as they look to replace the void left by Aaron Hernandez. Rob Gronkowski (knee) and Michael Hoomanawanui are both dealing with injuries. Wright's fantasy value was non-existent in Tampa but he'll move into the TE2 discussion thanks to a change of scenery.
|DuJuan Harris pushing Starks for No. 2 RB|
Packers RB coach: "It's anyone's guess" who backs up Lacy
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 26 2014, 12:50 pm
|The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Bob McGinn writes that DuJuan Harris has made a push for the Packers' No. 2 running back job, and "it's anyone's guess" if it's Harris or James Starks.
"That's a question that has yet to be determined," said RBs coach Sam Gash. Harris lost a fumble in the second preseason game, but exploded for 98 yards on 14 touches in Friday's dress rehearsal against the Raiders. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)|
FFToday's Take: Harris and Starks are in a pretty even battle for the backup job, but Starks is a complete back with experience who's earned the praise of scouts and fantasy pundits. For now, he's still the smart handcuff for Eddie Lacy owners, and Harris is just a deep-league flier.
| As expected, Rams RB Stacy atop depth chart|
Benny Cunningham slated for backup, Tre Mason third
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Aug 26 2014, 8:27 am
|Isaiah Pead is officially on injured reserve, leaving Zac Stacy, Cunningham, Mason, Chase Reynolds and possibly Trey Watts as the Rams RBs. Watts performed well against Cleveland and will get another chance against Miami. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: The devastating loss of Sam Bradford leaves Shaun Hill as the Rams QB, which means Zac Stacy is likely to be the centerpiece of the offense, as he was down the stretch in 2013. He's a borderline RB1/2 with plenty of upside.
|Ridley's roster spot in danger?|
Low snap total in last preseason game raises question
By: Doug Orth | Aug 25 2014, 5:45 pm
|The Patriots are always good for a surprise, and we've had our antenna up at this position since early July. If there's a surprise, we'll play a hunch at this spot with Stevan Ridley, whose low snap total Friday (11 snaps) in a "dress rehearsal" game caught the eye. Meanwhile, Roy Finch lands on the practice squad. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Ridley is making just a shade over $750,000 in the final year of his contract and the Patriots' best inside runner, but HC Bill Belichick detests fumbling - one of a few areas in which Ridley has struggled. Rookie James White hasn't overwhelmed during the preseason, but was the talk of training camp. Ultimately, Ridley should remain on the roster, but owners need to be aware his leash will be very short.
|Watkins no longer limited at practice|
Missed Bills' last preseason contest with rib injury
By: Doug Orth | Aug 25 2014, 4:25 pm
|Buffalo HC Doug Marrone said that Sammy Watkins (ribs) practiced Monday without any limitations. Presumably, this means Watkins will be healthy and ready to play in Week 1. Watkins practiced last week, but he was limited and he didn't play vs. the Buccaneers in preseason game No. 3. (CBS Sports)|
FFToday's Take: The injury and the Bills' reluctance to throw the ball downfield this preseason has effectively quieted the offseason buzz on Watkins. Still, the No. 4 overall pick is one of the more complete receivers to enter the league in recent years and should be able to perform at a low-end WR3 level in 2014 - even if QB E.J. Manuel fails to show much improvement - thanks to his unique run-after-catch skills.
| Steven Jackson back at practice Monday|
Missed 27 days with hamstring injury
By: Doug Orth | Aug 25 2014, 4:10 pm
|The Falcons got some great news from Steven Jackson as he returned to practice on Monday. His return now puts him on track to be in the game September 7th, which is good news for those worried about the team's short-yardage struggles. What is less clear is whether he'll be ready for a full workload in that game, but the Falcons have suggested all along they anticipated he'd be back in action against the Saints. (Yahoo)|
FFToday's Take: Keep this recovery time in mind for Jackson, who was a top-15 back over the final five weeks of last season. At his mid-seventh (standard) and mid-eighth (PPR) round ADP, Jackson stands a great chance to be a mid-round steal for fantasy owners if he can stay healthy. That's a big if for a player with a long list of soft-tissue injuries, however. Regardless, he will be worthy of flex consideration at the very least when he sees the field this fall.