|Robert Mathis suffers torn Achilles|
Reigning sack champion out for season
By: Doug Orth | Sep 8 2014, 3:05 pm
|Multiple league sources are reporting OLB Robert Mathis suffered a torn Achilles last week while working out on his own and his season is now over. Mathis had three games remaining on his suspension for violating the PED policy.
The 33-year-old Mathis had 19.5 sacks in 2013, his first without Dwight Freeney. Because the injury happened away from the team facility, the Colts could place Mathis on the non-football injury list and withhold this year’s money, setting the stage to part ways with an aging and banged-up player this offseason. (Pro Football Talk)|
FFToday's Take: Week 1 is usually reserved for the first wave of season-ending injuries that occur on the field, but has been replaced by the release of Ray Rice and this bombshell. The Colts struggled to consistently get pressure against Denver on Sunday night and will be forced to play without one of its few defensive playmakers the rest of the season. Bjoern Werner and Erik Walden will remain the starters at outside linebacker until further notice.
|Cam Newton named Week 2 starter|
Sidelined for the opener with rib injury
By: Doug Orth | Sep 8 2014, 3:00 pm
|Panthers HC Ron Rivera says Cam Newton will start the team's home opener Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Newton was held out of Carolina's win on Sunday at Tampa Bay with fractured ribs, but backup Derek Anderson stepped in and threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns in a 20-14 victory.
Newton is expected to return to practice Wednesday after his streak of 48 consecutive starts was snapped. Rivera says keeping Newton out against Tampa Bay was "one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make," but doctors told him it will make a huge difference in his recovery. (AP)|
FFToday's Take: The key phrase here is that "doctors said it will make a huge difference in his recovery". Although it was a difficult pill to swallow for fantasy owners, it was the right move and probably something that will go a long way in making sure Newton can fully heal. Detroit and its talented front four await in Week 2, but Anderson's Week 1 showing against another tough defense was a promising development for Newton's rest-of-season prospects.
|49ers cut ties with LaMichael James|
Third-year RB played just two snaps in Week 1
By: Doug Orth | Sep 8 2014, 2:40 pm
|The 49ers waived RB LaMichael James, his agent announced Monday morning. James registered zero yards on two rushes in the 49ers' win over the Cowboys on Sunday.
He also entered the season opener as the team's backup punt and kick returner behind rookie Bruce Ellington. (NBC Bay Area)|
FFToday's Take: James has been asking for his release for some time now, so the move probably was helped along by the fact that Carlos Hyde had an impressive preseason and Week 1. James could get some feelers from a running back-needy team - such as the Cardinals or Ravens - although he has shown so little as a pro that he may end up not attracting a waiver claim.
|Ravens terminate contract of Ray Rice|
NFL suspends him indefinitely after TMZ releases casino video
By: Doug Orth | Sep 8 2014, 2:30 pm
|The Baltimore Ravens terminated RB Ray Rice's contract on Monday, hours after TMZ released a video showing him punching his then-fiancee in the face in an Atlantic City hotel elevator in February. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Prior to Monday morning, the public had only had access to part of the casino video in which Rice was dragging his then-fiancee out of the elevator after the February incident. The new video really left the Ravens with no choice but to release the three-time Pro Bowler. From a football perspective, Baltimore will move forward with some combination of Bernard Pierce (benched in Week 1), Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro.
|Jordan Reed to have MRI on hamstring|
Niles Paul fills in
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 7 2014, 10:10 pm
|Jordan Reed, who missed seven games as a rookie because of thigh, knee and concussion issues, injured his hamstring while trying to pick up extra yardage on a four-yard reception late in the first quarter. Niles Paul took Reed’s place along with Logan Paulsen in two-tight end sets. (Washington Post)|
FFToday's Take: Reed will have an MRI on his hamstring according to head coach Jay Gruden. He said the injury was a concern and hinted that Reed could miss some time. Reed owners should be making other plans for their tight end position for at least Week 2 and likely beyond. Niles Paul caught four passes for 86 yards on four targets in Reed's absence.
|Tate injures knee, rookie running backs shine|
Severity of knee injury unknown
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 7 2014, 10:00 pm
|In their NFL regular-season debuts, Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell combined for 132 yards and two touchdowns in the Browns' 30-27 loss at Heinz Field. The Browns rushed for 183 yards - the most in four seasons - despite losing starter Ben Tate to a first-half knee injury. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)|
FFToday's Take: Tate had six carries for 41 yards before leaving with a knee injury. No update on his status was given after the game. West had 16 carries for 100 yards and would likely be starter next week if Tate is not ready to go while Crowell would work as a change-of-pace.
|TE Garrett Graham not expected to play|
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 7 2014, 9:44 am
|Per source, Texans TE Garrett Graham will not play today. That means rookie C.J. Fiedorowicz is likely to get the start for Houston. (Albert Breer via Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Graham has been dealing with a back issue, missed practice time this week and it appears he will sit out Week 1. Fiedorowicz has some appeal if you're weak at the tight end position, TE Ryan Griffin will also be used in the gameplan.
|Ellington a gametime decision|
Listed as questionable
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 6 2014, 11:00 pm
|Arizona Cardinals starting running back Andre Ellington will be a game-time decision after being limited in Saturday's practice, coach Bruce Arians said. He was officially listed as questionable on the Cardinals' final injury report of the week after getting an MRI on Thursday on a foot injury. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Ellington was limited in practice on Saturday and it appears no surgery is needed at this time. "It's one of those things that every day when you wake up it could be different," Arians said. If you have to set your lineup early, it would be best leave Ellington out of it. The risk of him ending up on the Inactive list is too great. Jonathan Dwyer and Stepfan Taylor would fill in for Ellington if he sits.
|Kenny Stills out with quad injury|
Slight bump for Brandin Cooks
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 6 2014, 2:00 pm
|New Orleans Saints wide receiver Kenny Stills has been declared out for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons. (New Orleans Times Picayune)|
FFToday's Take: The Saints brought back Robert Meachum this week which was a good sign that Stills was headed for the inactive list. With Stills out, Brandin Cooks becomes a more attractive play in Week 1 against the Falcons.
|Cecil Shorts out with hamstring injury|
Rookie receivers get big opportunity on Sunday
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 6 2014, 1:50 pm
|The Jaguars have declared wide receiver Cecil Shorts out of the season opener at Philadelphia with a hamstring injury and he won’t make the trip for the game.
The other three players not making the trip are running back Storm Johnson, offensive tackle Austin Pasztor and tight end Clay Harbor. (Florida Times Union)|
FFToday's Take: Shorts had been bothered by a hamstring injury during training camp and it flared up again on Thursday. He was limited in practice Friday. With Shorts out, Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson (all rookies) will be the top targets for Chad Henne. Lee and Hurns offers the most fantasy appeal but both are desperation plays.
|Brady returns to practice Friday|
Listed on injury report with a calf injury
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 5 2014, 12:30 pm
|After missing practice on Thursday, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his return to practice on Friday during the team's stretches, according to reports. Brady was listed on Thursday's injury report with a calf injury, but told Westwood One's Jim Gray on Thursday evening that he will be "ready to go Sunday." (Boston Herald)|
FFToday's Take: Brady's calf issue is likely minor and he's in no danger of missing this week's game against Miami. His fantasy value hinges on the Gronk who is a beast around the goaline. His presence will push Brady into high-end QB1 territory if he's available to play a significant amount of snaps.
|Gronkowski expected to play, may be limited|
Gronk recovering from ACL injury
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 5 2014, 12:08 pm
|Word is Rob Gronkowski (ACL) was right earlier in the week. The Patriots TE is expected to play vs. Dolphins. Snaps may be limited tho. (Ian Rapoport via Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: This has been conventional wisdom all week. Gronk owners should pencil him in their starting lineups. The Patriots and Dolphins play early on Sunday so we'll know ahead of time if the touchdown machine is inactive.
|Cecil Shorts still bothered by hamstring injury|
Misses practice Friday
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 5 2014, 11:59 am
|Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts participated in this morning’s walk-through but is not practicing because of hamstring tightness that forced him to leave Thursday’s practice early.
Shorts was not present during the first 30 minutes of today’s workout.
It is expected that Shorts will be listed as questionable for Sunday’s opener at Philadelphia. (Florida Times Union)|
FFToday's Take: Shorts was unable to finish practice yesterday so it's looking more an more like he won't be available against the Bears this week. Expect him to be a gametime decision. If he can't go, Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson Allen Hurns and Mike Brown will be the top receivers for Chad Henne.
|O'Brien: "Arian's going to play a lot"|
Texans running back inline for a heavy workload
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 5 2014, 10:45 am
|Running back Arian Foster starts against Washington. It’s his first action since suffering a season-ending back injury last year.
“Arian’s going to play a lot,” coach Bill O’Brien said. “After that, we’ll see how it goes.
“I believe at some point you’ll see all three of those other backs: Jonathan Grimes, Alfred Blue and Ronnie Brown in different situations. But Arian will get the bulk of the playing time.” (Houston Chronicle)|
FFToday's Take: Foster is inline for plenty of touches this week against the Redskins... an all three downs. He'll be spelled by Jonathan Grimes. Given his expected volume, Foster is no-brainer RB1 this week.
|Andre Ellington has MRI on injured foot|
Limited in practice on Thursday
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 5 2014, 2:00 am
|Running back Andre Ellington practiced on a limited basis (Thursday) because of a foot injury.
Reporters' access to players and coaches came before the injury report was issued Thursday, so more information was not available. Hearing Andre Ellington was dealing with some discomfort in his left foot the past week, irritated his foot during practice on Thursday #MRI. (Mike Jurecki via Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: We'll have to wait for clarity from the team which I'm sure will be coming later today but this should fan the flames regarding Ellington's durability concerns. Jonathan Dwyer is next in line for carries should Ellington miss any playing time.
|Eddie Lacy suffers concussion|
Ten days until next game against Jets
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 4 2014, 11:00 pm
|Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy sustained a concussion during Thursday night's 36-16 season-opening loss to the Seattle Seahawks, coach Mike McCarthy confirmed after the game.
The second-year player departed in the second half after picking up 34 yards on 12 carries. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: It wasn't a pretty night for the Packers offense and while Lacy found some holes in the first quarter the Seahawks defense quickly responded and held the big back to 2.8 yards per carry. Lacy left in the fourth quarter and catches somewhat of break as the Packers have ten days before their next game at home against Jets. James Starks saw action as Lacy's backup rushing for 37 yards on seven carries.
|Welker, Gordon could have suspensions reduced|
NFL, NFLPA could come to agreement on new policy soon
By: Doug Orth | Sep 4 2014, 8:35 pm
|Broncos WR Wes Welker is suspended for the first four games of the season, and Browns WR Josh Gordon is suspended for the entire season. Both players have already appealed, and lost.
And yet there’s a chance that both players could still see their suspensions reduced. As Mike Florio reported on NBC, Welker, Gordon and potentially other players in the midst of suspensions could benefit from a new drug testing policy that the owners and players could agree upon soon. (Pro Football Talk)|
FFToday's Take: Offseason use of amphetamines would move from the PED policy to the substance-abuse policy, which would allow Welker to get by without a suspension as a first-time offender. Another change is that the threshold to trigger a positive result on a marijuana test would rise. That would affect Gordon because his positive test was just barely above the NFL’s current threshold. What it means is that Welker could be available sooner than expected and Gordon is worthy of a stash.
|Jets likely to go with "hot hand" at RB|
Johnson expects to start, but does not know exact role
By: Doug Orth | Sep 4 2014, 4:10 pm
|Chris Johnson expects to start Sunday in the New York Jets' season opener, but he's not sure about his exact role -- i.e. how the carries will be divided among the running backs. Johnson might not be certain of the particulars, but he's confident in this: He won't be spending a lot of time on the bench.
In six seasons with the Titans, Johnson averaged 18 carries per game. He probably won't reach that number, especially since he's coming off knee surgery. RB coach Anthony Lynn subscribes to the "hot hand" philosophy. (ESPN New York)|
FFToday's Take: Johnson, Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell are all listed as starters on the depth chart, for what little that is worth. Johnson is a poor fit for Rex Ryan's preferred "Ground-and-Pound" attack while Ivory is, meaning Johnson could have more than his share of bad fantasy days. The ex-Titan shouldn't be considered anything more than a flex in all leagues until he assumes the lead role for sure, assuming that even happens.
|Bengals hint at committee backfield|
HC Lewis suggests Bernard will "get a little bit more"
By: Doug Orth | Sep 4 2014, 3:55 pm
|Fantasy Nugget: Bengals HC Marvin Lewis told me "A smart guy would say Gio gets a little bit more" when (I asked him about he would split touches between Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill). (Ross Tucker on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: The first clue was the second-round pick the Bengals spent on Hill this spring, the second was Cincinnati's curious choice to give the LSU rookie 26 touches in the preseason finale and the third was the release of BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The good news for Bernard owners is that he is probably still in line for over 200 carries and 60-plus receptions because new OC Hue Jackson will put a heavy emphasis on the running game. As for Hill, he should be solid flex play going forward.
|Cam Newton unsure about Week 1 status|
Not a full-go at Thursday practice
By: Doug Orth | Sep 4 2014, 3:35 pm
|After missing Wednesday's practice with rib soreness, Cam Newton returned to the field on Thursday but didn't throw a pass during the portion of practice open to the media. Newton later told reporters that he wasn't full-go, but remains on track to play in Sunday's regular season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "If I can go, I'm going to go," Newton said, "and how I'm feeling now, I'm on pace to go." Newton has never missed an NFL start, but acknowledged that he won't put his team at risk by playing before he's ready, reminding scribes: "I am human, and we all have our limits." (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: Hardly a ringing endorsement, but it is a good sign that he took the field on Thursday. Newton is a low-end QB1 at best this week with a shaky offensive line against a potentially dominant front seven, so he has his work cut out for him. The Panthers don't kick off until 4:25 ET on Sunday, so owners may need to go in another direction this week. Derek Anderson is Newton's direct backup.
|Cooper, De'Anthony Thomas injured at practice|
Chiefs may be without starting corner and key returner
By: Mike Krueger | Sep 4 2014, 12:30 pm
|The Chiefs could be without two key players in Sunday’s season opener against the Tennessee Titans.
Starting cornerback Marcus Cooper suffered an ankle injury and rookie running back/punt returner De’Anthony Thomas strained a hamstring late in Wednesday’s practice, coach Andy Reid said on Thursday morning.
Neither player was expected to practice on Thursday. (Kansas City Star)|
FFToday's Take: The Chiefs have had a slew of injury issues this preseason and can't afford to lose yet another key piece in the secondary. If Cooper is out, there may be some hidden gems for fantasy owners in the Titans passing game this week. Kendall Wright, Nate Washington and Justin Hunter would get a bump in value.
|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.