The big news in our last update dealt with the Martavis Bryant suspension (appeal since denied) and bad vibes out of Washington for Robert Griffin III (inevitable benching since confirmed), and a handful of other smaller items.
We got through a big drafting weekend this past weekend, but the news didn’t stop as a few impactful things came to light, requiring another projections and rankings update this week. Lets get to it. News and notes first, and then the ranking changes.
Michael Floyd is working his way back from dislocated fingers that required surgery early in training camp. HC Bruce Arians is optimistic Floyd will be back Week 1. Floyd is a worthwhile risk as a WR5 on your team. It just might be difficult to justify starting him any given week.
Devonta Freeman returned to practice after missing multiple weeks with a hamstring injury. There is no clear indication which player will start or dominate carries – if anyone – between Freeman and Tevin Coleman. This situation looks like a mess.
Dennis Pitta placed on the PUP list. Only thing mildly surprising here is he wasn’t put straight on IR, the reports of his recovery are so grim.
Released Fred Jackson. Fans can’t believe it, and fantasy players equally question the decision. There even appears to be some grumblings that not all of the Bills coaches were onside with this call by the GM. Regardless, FJax is out there ready for some other lucky team to pick him up. It will have some domino effect on that team, but keeping mind he is 34, it shouldn’t be a huge impact.
The Bills named Tyrod Taylor their starting QB as expected.
The Panthers acquired WR Kevin Norwood from the Seattle Seahawks in a trade. Rookie Devin Funchess does not seem to be doing much to establish himself as the projected starter in the absence of Kelvin Benjamin. I don’t mind Funchess as a rather late, hope for the best upside pick, but this is mainly a stay away from situation.
Alshon Jeffery continues to miss practice with a “day-to-day” calf injury. No adjustment yet but it is getting a bit worrisome. The way Bears receivers are limping around, Martellus Bennett may top his 90 catches from last season … and then promptly ask for a big raise.
Duke Johnson is sidelined with a concussion. The team may have issues with Isaiah Crowell, but they may have no choice but to get him there to play unless they sign someone else. It is always a possibility even at this late stage. Seems fantasy players are shying as far away from Browns backs as possible right now.
RB Joique Bell returned to practice after a long layoff (longer than fantasy players feel very comfortable with, this time of year) and now represents a bit of a value where he is getting drafted. Even with rookie Ameer Abdullah wowing people, Bell should be a regular contributor on a good offense as long as he can stay healthy.
Green Bay Packers
Randall Cobb is expected to play Week 1 even with his shoulder he injured in preseason.
Did you know T.Y. Hilton has a concussion? Its true, and he is in the league’s concussion protocol, but he is trending in the right direction with positive reports he’ll be ready Week 1. No alarm bells to sound but something to keep tabs on.
If you saw the comment from my recent draft recap, you know how I feel about this one. After a quiet few weeks with the idea TE Julius Thomas would be back for Week 1, now he requires surgery on his hand and will miss 3 games. If you are desperate for a TE to start the season, give Marcedes Lewis a go.
Kansas City Chiefs
TE Travis Kelce also went down with an ankle injury, but this one looks minor as reports indicate he could play if it was the regular season.
New England Patriots
Tom Brady decision expected end of this week. No sense commenting any further on this story until that happens.
New Orleans Saints
Brandon Coleman has apparently won the WR3 job for the Saints. I did draft him the other night, but WR3 on the Saints is still pretty far down the pecking order for catches, in recent years. Still, if Marques Colston is truly at the end of the line there is a nice opportunity for Coleman if he can take advantage.
New York Jets
TE Jace Amaro placed on IR. Was not going to be a fantasy factor anyway, but he has enough name recognition I thought I should mention it.
In no surprise at all, the Raiders released RB Trent Richardson. That was a short ride.
The Steelers lost another kicker. Garrett Hartley was placed on IR. Between this and the suspensions, it is almost like the fantasy Gods are trying to tell us something about Pittsburgh.
Kirk Cousins is the Redskins starting QB. God help diehard ‘Skins fans.