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Gurley cleared to practice

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 15:35

Brian Quick may see first preseason action on Saturday

Jeff Fisher announces that RB Todd Gurley (knee; ACL) has been cleared to practice. He'll wear yellow hat signifying no contact. ... He still won't play in preseason but this is next step in his recovery. No target date on when he'll play in a game. ... Also, WR Brian Quick (shoulder) will lose the yellow "no contact" beanie on his helmet this week, which means he could play this week. ... Fisher joked that there will be a passing of the beanie ceremony with Quick handing it off to Gurley. (Nick Wagoner on Twitter)

FF Today's Take: Wagoner fired off a series of tweets passing along the good news. Quick's return is important for a passing game that desperately needs a receiver to step up; the fourth-year receiver was on a 64-973-8 pace prior to suffering a serious injury last season. There is still no firm timetable for Gurley's first game action, although the team is reportedly quite pleased with his recovery to this point.

Foster could be back by late September

Draft Sharks - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 14:42

Texans insider Aaron Wilson hears that the "best-case scenario" for RB Arian Foster's return is late September.  That'd be about 7 weeks after he had surgery.  Houston's Week 3 game against the Bucs is on September 27th.  It sounds like that's Foster's earliest return date.  Of course, that'd be a fantastic outcome considering it originally looked like he'd miss 8+ games.  We'll continue to keep a close eye on his progress.  For now, we're adding a few games to his projections.

Foster could be back by end of September

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 14:40

Likely best-case scenario

Best-case scenario for Arian Foster, if no setbacks in rehab from groin surgery, likely end of September, per sources. (Aaron Wilson on Twitter)

FF Today's Take: Foster hasn't proven to be the quickest healer and his lack of durability (even when he appears to be 100 percent) has been proven over and over again. For those reasons, Foster should really be treated as a extremely high-upside RB3. His ADP has slid into the sixth-round area recently, which sounds about right for an injury-prone player that is a good bet to miss at least the first 3-4 games of the season. Alfred Blue should carry the bulk of the load in his absence.

Gurley cleared for team drills

Draft Sharks - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 14:33

Rams HC Jeff Fisher announced Monday that RB Todd Gurley (knee) has been cleared for team drills.  He'd previously been limited to individual work.  It's another step in his rehab from last year's torn ACL.  But Gurley will still wear a non-contact yellow beanie -- a reminder that he's still not truly a full go.  He won't play in the preseason, and his availability for Week 1 remains in question.  NFL Network's Ian Rapoport previously reported that the Rams believe Gurley will miss the "first couple games," while ESPN's Nick Wagoner hears the team will "ease" the rookie in early in the season.  Gurley's current early-4th-round ADP is a tad too rich for us.

ACL tear confirmed for Jordy Nelson

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 14:30

Out for season

Green Bay Packers star WR Jordy Nelson will miss the entire 2015 season with a knee injury, the team announced Monday. The Packers said in a statement that Nelson suffered "a significant right knee injury" in Sunday's preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nelson, who caught a career-high 98 passes in 2014 while making the Pro Bowl for the first time, fell to the ground when he tried to cut after making an 8-yard reception on Green Bay's opening drive. (ESPN)

FF Today's Take: This was the expected result after Nelson suffered the injury Sunday afternoon. Although it is unrealistic to think the Packers will simply conduct business as usual on offense without Nelson, they are more equipped to handle this kind of setback at receiver than most teams. For fantasy purposes, Randall Cobb likely moves into the elite-receiver territory, Davante Adams becomes a high-end WR2 and Jeff Janis or rookie Ty Montgomery offers high upside in the later rounds.

Nelson's torn ACL confirmed

Draft Sharks - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 14:21

The Packers confirmed on Monday that Packers WR Jordy Nelson suffered a torn ACL in Sunday's preseason game.  He'll miss the entire 2015 season.  The relative good news is that Nelson's other knee ligaments are intact.  That, plus the timing of the injury, at least means he has a good shot to be back to 100% for the start of the 2016 campaign.  Nelson will be 31 then, though, and no lock to return to elite fantasy territory.  As for this season, here's the impact of Nelson's injury on the rest of the Packers.

Hillman now the 1B runner in Denver?

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 12:45

RB has 120 yards on 16 carries through two exhibition games

In two preseason games, Ronnie Hillman sped past Montee Ball on the depth chart on his way to 120 yards rushing on 16 carries - 7.5 yards per carry. Hillman is now the 1B runner behind C.J. Anderson. "I'm not worried about 1B and all that because that'll drive you crazy," Hillman said. Meanwhile, second-year back Juwan Thompson may also be moving past Ball, whose slump continues. Hilllman (8 carries, 54 yards), Thompson (five carries, 32 yards) and Anderson (4 for 24) all averaged at least 6.0 yards per carry. (9News Denver)

FF Today's Take: It's important to remember a month ago that Thompson was "making a push for No. 2" and Ball has been the second man through in both of the Broncos' preseason games. The most likely scenario all along as been Anderson seeing roughly 18-20 touches/game and the second back - whomever that ends up being - collecting the scraps. HC Gary Kubiak has enjoyed success with this setup before, most recently in 2011 when Arian Foster finished as the RB4 and Ben Tate the RB28 in Houston.

Cowboys' backfield still in flux

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 12:40

Team may eventually lean on back not already on roster

Joseph Randle appears to be the starter. Lance Dunbar is the change-of-pace back with a package of plays that will be more significant than past seasons. Darren McFadden's role will vary based on his health and Randle's effectiveness. An argument can also be made that the Cowboys are trying to send Randle a message. This is his starting job to lose. He hasn't done anything to lose it, but he apparently hasn't nailed it down, either. The Cowboys may lean on a back this season who's not currently on the roster. (Dallas Morning News)

FF Today's Take: Owner/GM Jerry Jones said before training camp that if the team makes a move at running back, it will be near the end of the preseason. That possibility is looking more like a certainty, and the lucky recipient probably has RB2 potential running behind the Cowboys' vaunted front five. At this point, fantasy owners should expect the team to add a veteran runner like Pierre Thomas or maybe even Ray Rice since the Cowboys fashion themselves as a Super Bowl contender.

Smith not expected to be ready for Week 1

Draft Sharks - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 12:21

Jets WR Devin Smith (ribs) is not expected to be ready for Week 1, according to HC Todd Bowles.  Smith went down at the beginning of August and was slapped with a 4-6 week recovery timeline.  That should put him back on the field by Week 2 or 3, but the rookie will have a lot of catching up to do.  He's not an early-season fantasy option.

Taliaferro out a "few weeks" with knee injury

Draft Sharks - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 11:40

Ravens HC John Harbaugh announced that RB Lorenzo Taliaferro will miss a "few weeks" with an MCL injury suffered in Saturday's preseason game.  That puts his availability for Week 1 in doubt.  Taliaferro was looking like Baltimore's #2 RB, but this absence will give Buck Allen a shot to take over that job.  Neither guy is worth rostering as a handcuff to Justin Forsett in standard redraft fantasy leagues right now.

Still no timetable for Foster's return

Draft Sharks - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 11:31

The Texans still haven't provided a timetable for RB Arian Foster's return from groin surgery.  "I don't have any update," HC Bill O'Brien said when asked Monday.  "He's in here rehabbing."  Early reports had Foster slated to miss 2-3 months.  Then we heard whispers that he could be back in 4-6 weeks.  He's now about 2-and-a-half weeks removed from surgery.  The fact that no timetable has been given suggests to us that he's not particularly close to a return.  Expect Foster to miss at least the first few games of the season.  His availability beyond that remains completely unclear.

Pats agree on one-year deal with Reggie Wayne

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 10:10

Injuries piling up for Pats receiving corps

Reggie Wayne and the New England Patriots have reached agreement on a one-year deal, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Wayne fits a need on the Patriots as the team has several question marks among its receiving corps due to injuries. (ESPN)

FF Today's Take: Julian Edelman (leg) Brandon LaFell (PUP list) and Aaron Dobson (hamstring) have been battling injuries during the preseason. The Pats are very secretive with their injury info making it difficult to gauge if this signing is anything more than insurance for one of the three above. For now, Wayne is nothing more than a late-round flier in redraft leagues.

Wayne joins the Patriots

Draft Sharks - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 09:22

The Patriots have inked WR Reggie Wayne to a 1-year deal.  The long-time Colt caught 64 balls last year but averaged just 12.2 yards per catch with only 2 TDs.  He finished 103rd among 110 WRs in Pro Football Focus' receiving grades.  Wayne is well past his prime at 36 and a pure possession receiver at this point of his career.  Don't expect a huge bounce-back in New England this season, but Wayne could turn into a dependable short-range target.  His arrival doesn't make us feel any better about WR Brandon LaFell, who has missed almost the entire offseason with a foot issue.

Yeldon will play in 3rd preseason game

Draft Sharks - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 07:04

Jaguars RB T.J. Yeldon (finger) will play in the team's 3rd preseason game on Friday night.  The rookie has been held out of the first 2 exhibitions after suffering a finger injury a couple of weeks ago.  Yeldon will see lots of work with the 1st-team offense on Friday, per HC Gus Bradley.  He remains the favorite to open the season as the Jags' lead back, but it'll be interesting to see how much RBs Toby Gerhart and Denard Robinson mix in.  Consider Yeldon a low-end RB2.

Johnson back at practice

Draft Sharks - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 06:47

Browns RB Duke Johnson (hamstring) is back at practice.  The rookie missed over 3 weeks of training camp and Cleveland's first 2 preseason games.  The good news is that neither Terrance West nor Isaiah Crowell stood out in Johnson's absence.  OC John DeFilippo said Johnson will have a "significant role" in the team's 3rd preseason game.  A strong showing there could earn him a nice chunk of the backfield pie.  Johnson is worth a look as a RB4, especially in PPR leagues.

Texans name Brian Hoyer starting QB

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 05:30

Wins camp battle with Ryan Mallett

The Texans have named Brian Hoyer as their starting quarterback following a training camp competition with Ryan Mallett, according to sources with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly. (Houston Chronicle)

FF Today's Take: This move has little consequence for fantasy owners as both Hoyer and Mallett have gone largely undrafted in 12-team leagues. Both quarterbacks have been average this pre-season and it won't be a surprise if Mallett makes some starts during the course of the season.

Hoyer named Texans starter

Draft Sharks - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 05:25

The Texans have tabbed Brian Hoyer as their starting QB, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.  Hoyer also received a new 2-year, $10.5 million deal.  He's been decent in preseason action, completing 9 of 15 passes (60%) for 119 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs.  QB Ryan Mallett, meanwhile, has gone 15 of 18 (83.3%) but averaged just 6.3 yards per attempt.  Houston is going with Hoyer's experience here, hoping that he can manage the offense and allow the running game and defense to win games.  Hoyer is a limited talent working with a weak group of pass-catchers and won't have volume on his side.  Don't bother with him in fantasy drafts.

Jackson back at practice

Draft Sharks - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 05:07

Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) returned to practice on Sunday.  He was limited to individual drills.  But a setback-free week of practice should have him ready for Washington's 3rd preseason game against the Ravens.  D-Jax had been sidelined since August 6th.

McFadden starts, struggles in 2nd preseason game

Draft Sharks - Sun, 08/23/2015 - 18:26

Cowboys RB Darren McFadden got the start in Sunday's preseason game against the 49ers.  He didn't do much with the opportunity, turning 3 carries into 4 yards.  He also caught 1 ball for 3 yards.  RB Joseph Randle entered on Dallas' 3rd possession and finished the night with 7 carries for 30 yards.  This backfield remains wide-open heading into the all-important 3rd preseason game.  Randle's ADP is still sitting in the 5th round, while McFadden is going in the 12th.

Toon has high-ankle sprain

Draft Sharks - Sun, 08/23/2015 - 18:14

Saints WR Nick Toon suffered a high-ankle sprain in Saturday night's preseason game, according to Fox Sports' Ross Jones.  He'll miss the final 2 exhibitions and might not be ready for Week 1.  Toon had recently been passed on the depth chart by WR Brandon Coleman, and this injury kills any chance he had at reclaiming the #3 spot.  Toon isn't worth rostering in redraft leagues.  Coleman remains an intriguing flier.