Author Archives: Mike MacGregor

S h a r e :

Preseason Week 3 Fantasy Football News and Notes

Is RB Arian Foster getting back on the field than originally expected? It seems like that might be the case, pushing Alfred Blue down the rankings and Foster back up.

Is RB Arian Foster getting back on the field than originally expected? It seems like that might be the case, pushing Alfred Blue down the rankings and Foster back up.

Here is a major news and notes recap since our last update plus the separate Jordy Nelson injury fantasy impact. The all important Preseason Week 3 starts tonight, and this is a heavy draft weekend. Our projections and rankings will be updated soon reflecting this latest news.

Arizona Cardinals

HC Bruce Arians is confident WR Michael Floyd will be ready to play Week 1 of the regular season. There is no timetable for his return.

Baltimore Ravens

WR Breshad Perriman is recovering very slowly. He’s falling into do not draft (in redraft) territory, not worth the risk.

Buffalo Bills

Tyrod Taylor seemed to win support for the starting QB job after the Bills last preseason game. It looks like all three could rotate in with the starters in the team’s third preseason game.

Denver Broncos

Ronnie Hillman moved ahead of Montee Ball for the backup job. If memory serves Hillman has impressed in preseason before only to falter later.

The Broncos cut K Connor Barth. We don’t even rank kickers at our website. I suppose we should, but kickers really just annoy me. At any rate, don’t draft Barth. Brandon McManus is the Broncos kicker.

Getting a little worried about Emmanuel Sanders status to open the season since he continues to miss practice and preseason games with a hamstring injury. We already have him down with an avoid icon in our rankings.

Green Bay Packers

We updated earlier this week for Jordy Nelson’s knee injury sidelining him for the season. Randall Cobb received a slight bump while Davante Adams really becomes a player to target. Andrew Luck would seem to now own the tiebreaker over Aaron Rodgers for top spot in our QB rankings.

In terms of picking the right WR3 on the Packers, that is up for debate. Ty Montgomery appears to be first in line, but Jeff Janis and Myles White are in the mix.

Houston Texans

Arian Foster rehab news is getting better, as the timetable for his return continues to shrink. The latest, a possible early season return in the range of Weeks 2 to 4, and based on the injury, he should be pretty much a full-go on return. That would mean we have Alfred Blue too high and Foster too low in our projections and rankings prior to the update accompanying this post.

New England Patriots

The Pats signed veteran WR Reggie Wayne, which was a signal maybe Brandon LaFell isn’t as healthy as the team would have hoped. Julian Edelman also recently revealed he might miss Week 1.

New York Giants

Tap the brakes on all the positive Victor Cruz rehab stories. He is dealing with inflammation in his calf and now looks to be eased back in to regular playing time, even though he remains confident he will play Week 1.

There is some noise of RB Andre Williams taking over as the primary back ahead of Rashad Jennings. Don’t really buy it, but the next preseason game hopefully sheds some light on the situation.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Signed QB Michael Vick, Bruce Gradkowski to IR.

Steelers get slapped with another suspension, and it is another big one. WR Martavis Bryant gets 4 games for substance abuse. He is appealing, so we are waiting to hear the outcome of that, but Markus Wheaton moves up and Bryant drops in anticipation of missing at least a couple of games.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

WR Mike Evans suffered a hamstring injury and the team is going to hold him out for the remainder of the preseason. It doesn’t appear overly serious but he wouldn’t be my first choice amongst similar ranked receivers in the same tier. Hamstring injuries can linger.

Washington Redskins

The relationship between QB Robert Griffin III and the Redskins organization is heading down a rocky road again. He got beat up in their last preseason game. It doesn’t matter to me where the blame lies, but hard to imagine he plays 16 games at this rate, and the upside we might have thought could return, appears to be gone. Moving down.

S h a r e :

Preseason Week 2 Fantasy Football News and Notes

Here is a recap of up to the minute (Kelvin Benjamin!) NFL news and notes since our last update before Week 1 of preseason. We are still a day away from more game action but we’ll call it Preseason Week 2 news and notes. These will factor into our next projections and rankings changes, later today or tomorrow.

Free Agents of Interest

Ray Rice

Arizona Cardinals

The team signed RB Chris Johnson to a one-year contract with minimal guarantees, heavier on the incentives. We’ll slot him in behind Andre Ellington and rookie David Johnson on the depth chart for now. We aren’t that interested in drafting CJ, unless ridiculously cheap with a roster spot to burn perhaps, but it’s a signal to be even less confident in the entire Cards RB corps.

Baltimore Ravens

WR Breshad Perriman continues to miss practice after practice (12 straight as of Tuesday). Twitter reports say he had an MRI and it came back normal, and the Ravens expect him back in about a week. The missed time does not inspire a lot of confidence Perriman will have a significant fantasy impact this season.

Buffalo Bills

LeSean McCoy limped off the field Tuesday with a hamstring injury. MRI results were negative (or should I say results were positive?), but looks like he’s out for preseason and plans to be ready for a Week 1 return.

Fred Jackson, Anthony Dixon, Bryce Brown and the latest, rookie Karlos Williams, are all missing practice due to injuries. Educated guess is Jackson is still the RB2 to own in this backfield. With all of these injuries Ray Rice’s name keeps popping up as a possible signing.

Listened to a Bills reporter Sal Capaccio on the radio Monday say the QB competition is quickly becoming a two-player race between Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor. E.J. Manuel is a distant third. None are worth drafting except in deep start two QB leagues at this point, of course.

Carolina Panthers

I apparently can’t get this update written fast enough! Kelvin Benjamin went down during practice this morning (Wednesday) with an apparent knee injury. One of those didn’t touch anyone when it happened injuries, which are usually not good. Waiting initial results. Worst case, torn ACL and out for the year. Best case, simple sprain or tweak of the knee. Outcome could have a major impact on rookie WR Devin Funchess (who also tweaked him hamstring, by the way), Cam Newton and Greg Olsen.

Update August 20: Confirmed, Benjamin tore his ACL and is out for the season. We’ll distribute his hefty targets between rookie Devin Funchess, Jerricho Cotchery and Corey (Philly) Brown plus Greg Olsen, with the remainder falling into a generic “other player” bucket (like Ted Ginn, Jr. or Jarrett Boykin). Do not draft Benjamin. Funchess’ ADP will rise sharply. Cam down. Olsen a slight bump perhaps. He was already projected and ranked pretty high.

Chicago Bears

Rookie WR Kevin White is out for an extended period after requiring surgery on his shin due a stress fracture. He’ll go on regular season PUP at a minimum, missing at least the first six games, and his entire rookie season is in jeopardy. Do not draft.

Alshon Jeffery has a calf injury but it isn’t considered serious. There is a little risk here but on the plus side Jeffery’s targets could be off the charts with White out indefinitely.

Dallas Cowboys

RB Darren McFadden was removed from the PUP list this week, but pretty clear this is Joseph Randle’s job to lose at this point because McFadden is so far behind.

Denver Broncos

Reports are there is no clear backup or handcuff pick for starting RB C.J. Anderson between Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman. Both looked good in the first preseason game. Hard to imagine it will be Hillman when we hit the regular season.

Emmanuel Sanders is missing practice with the injury du jour, a strained hamstring. He is doubtful for their next preseason game.

Houston Texans

Starting QB watch: Brian Hoyer started the first preseason game. Ryan Mallett will start the second. It is still a coin flip call with no timeline on a decision.

Jacksonville Jaguars

WR Marqise Lee continues to miss practice with a hamstring injury. Allen Hurns should start opposite Allen Robinson at the beginning of the regular season.

Miami Dolphins

DeVante Parker appears 2-3 weeks away from returning to the team. He could make an impact this season and is worth the late pick in redraft leagues he currently costs as your second or third bench WR.

Damien Williams, not rookie Jay Ajayi, holds down the backup RB spot to Lamar Miller at this time. Ajayi only recently returned to practice.

Minnesota Vikings

The team lost RT Phil Loadholt to a torn Achilles’. While this didn’t prevent me from taking Adrian Peterson as the second overall pick in a recent moderate stakes redraft league, it isn’t good news for the Vikings running game and I thought worth mentioning.

New Orleans Saints

C.J. Spiller had knee surgery recently, described as a “maintenance” procedure to clean things up, and is expected to be out 2-4 weeks. That puts him in line to return for the start of the season, but it is an ominous sign for a RB with a bit of a track record being dinged up, and getting drafted relatively high on a team with other RB options. Moving down and marking Spiller as an “avoid” in our next rankings update. Khiry Robinson is one to watch, perhaps even target.

New York Giants

Rueben Randle is missing practice with knee tendinitis, while reports of Victor Cruz’s recovery continue to be positive. Cruz should be drafted ahead of Randle at this point. If Cruz is healthy enough to start the regular season, and it seems to be trending that way, then might as well leave Randle for the waiver wire in most leagues.

Philadelphia Eagles

TE Zach Ertz required surgery for a sports hernia and will sit out the rest of the preseason. Strangely enough, this happened not long after my last news and notes update in which I expressed buyer’s remorse drafting Ertz. He is expected back for Week 1 (albeit that seems a little optimistic) and we already moved him down our rankings slightly and slapped an “avoid” icon on him.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins TE position is decimated. Niles Paul (ankle) and Logan Paulsen (toe) are both out for the season, while Jordan Reed is, as usual, missing time due to injury (hamstring). Reed is hopeful to play in the team’s third preseason game. He’s a nice late flier pick, but health is a major concern.

S h a r e :

Preseason Week 1 Fantasy Football News and Notes

Fantasy players couldn't wait for TE Eric Ebron to get drafted last season to showcase his skills in the NFL. After a disappointing rookie season, now he's almost a forgotten man.

Fantasy players couldn’t wait for TE Eric Ebron to get drafted last season to showcase his skills in the NFL. After a disappointing rookie season, now he’s almost a forgotten man.

Here is a recap of key NFL news and notes since our last update a week ago, and to get us ready for Week 1 of preseason games. These items will factor into our latest projections and rankings changes. The starters shouldn’t play a lot in this opening week of preseason, but regardless, fingers crossed no major injuries!

Free Agents of Interest

RB Chris Johnson
RB Pierre Thomas
RB Ray Rice

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals apparently made a contract offer to free agent RB Chris Johnson. They’ve got injuries in the backfield, so this might be a lets get through the preseason signing (if he agrees to sign), or it could be more significant, an indication the team is not that happy with or confident in Andre Ellington?

Buffalo Bills

Karlos Williams is a new name to keep some tabs on out of the Bills backfield. Fred Jackson is banged up and Williams apparently passed Bryce Brown on the depth chart. The Bills are expected to run a lot, and you’ll want to know next man up if Shady isn’t up to that much workload.

Dallas Cowboys

RB Joseph Randle seems more secure in the starting spot than he did a couple of weeks ago, as he’s impressed while Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar are injured. If Randle doesn’t play much in the preseason take it as a good sign the team is saving him for the carries that matter.

Detroit Lions

TE Eric Ebron is getting positive reports out of camp. We’ll see how active he is in the Lions preseason games, but it is interesting to note how excited fantasy players were about this guy as a rookie, and how completely disinterested they are now. I haven’t drafted him yet – not a lot of leagues will there be a need to draft a second or third TE, which is where he’s getting drafted – but smells like a value pick with nice upside potential.

New York Giants

Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is expected to play in the Giants first preseason game, while Victor Cruz (patellar tendon) did more work in a scrimmage versus the Cincinnati Bengals that initially expected, and Rueben Randle (knee tendonitis) is hobbled missing practice and might play in the first preseason game. No projection changes, but a quick update of these key receivers.

New York Jets

A week after we upgrade Geno Smith based on positive reports out of training camp, he gets his jaw broken in the locker room from the fist of a previously unknown linebacker. Ryan Fitzpatrick now takes the season projections and Smith drops down in the rankings to our unranked but still on the fantasy radar section.

Philadelphia Eagles

TE Zach Ertz received a compliment for improved blocking recently, but Brent Celek is still around and more than likely the better of the two, which could once again limit snaps for Ertz. I only really bring this up because I drafted Ertz earlier this week and feel like I reached a bit on him. I took him at TE7 at the top of the 9th round. Buyer’s remorse, I would have been better served going RB or WR there and grabbing Delanie Walker (drafted TE10, bottom of 11th) or Jason Witten (TE11, bottom of 12th). In fact, I did take Witten and wonder now if he’s going to start for me more than Ertz.

Pittsburgh Steelers

K Shaun Suisham is done for the year with a torn ACL from last week’s Hall of Fame game. Former New Orleans Saints K Garrett Hartley was signed. If you are drafting early, especially in a draft-only (no waivers, no roster moves) league, double-check the job security of your targeted kicker before taking one.

St. Louis Rams

On the heels of a handful of “he’s progressing well” reports, the latest on RB Todd Gurley is he won’t be active to start the season, and Tre Mason likely to open the season as their unrivaled starter. This narrative makes a lot more sense given the severity and timing of Gurley’s injury and required rehab. We’ve got them projected with identical carries and we’ll stick with that. Not keen on drafting either guy really. Gurley is going way too high. This news might cool it off a bit, but he’ll continue to go too high for us.