Lions DE Ziggy Ansah sat out Friday's game against the Jaguars after missing practice all week. The Detroit Free Press reports that he said after the game that he felt "good" but wouldn't specify the injury. "I'm just taking it day by day," Ansah said. "Hopefully by (the regular-season opener) I should be fine." Ansah suffered an ankle injury in the 2nd exhibition game against Washington, so we're assuming that's what's keeping him out. We'll certainly be watching for updates to Ansah's status as the season draws closer. He brings breakout potential in your IDP league but has had trouble staying healthy through 3 pro years. We're not knocking him down our IDP rankings just yet, but don't reach too far to land Ansah ahead of the solid options sitting right behind him.
The Broncos remain happy with 2nd-year WR Cody Latimer, according to ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold, but HC Gary Kubiak would like to see a bit more over the final 2 preseason weeks. "You just want to see him making plays," Kubiak said this week. "He's a hard worker. He does the right thing. He's in the right place, but it's time for him to start making plays on the ball, coming up with big plays. The good news with him is he has worked as basically a starter from OTAs through [training] camp and everything. Everything's in place for Cody to grow up and have a big year. I like the way he works, [he] just needs to keep coming." Emmanuel Sanders' hamstring issues have afforded extra starter reps and present potential opportunity if they recur. We'll be quite interested to see if Latimer can step up. He's an intriguing shot to take in the double-digit rounds of your fantasy football draft.
Saints RB Khiry Robinson has missed practice all week with an undisclosed injury and isn't expected to play Sunday against the Texans, according to ESPN.com's Mike Triplett. The issue is reportedly minor, however, and won't affect Robinson's status for the regular season. A healthy Robinson is no more than a deep fantasy reserve as long as Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller are on the field, though.
Jaguars DE Andre Branch hurt his left knee in Friday night's game against the Lions and will have an MRI on Saturday. “We’ve got our fingers crossed on that one,” HC Gus Bradley said, per Jacksonville.com. “We’ll see. I know he was walking around a little bit in the training room.” Branch has stepped into the "Leo" pass-rushing role with rookie Dante Fowler out for the year and veteran DE Chris Clemons missing most of the spring and summer. We'll update Branch's situation when we see a diagnosis.
Titans LB Zach Brown missed some tackles in Friday night's game against the Chiefs. Afterward, HC Ken Whisenhunt called them "unacceptable," according to Jim Wyatt of Titans Online. Brown has the physical ability to deliver strong numbers to IDP lineups, but he entered the league with concerns about his tackling and will likely come off the field before fellow ILB Avery Williamson in some sub packages this season. That chips away at his fantasy upside. Brown's an upside reserve, but Williamson's a better IDP bet.
Cowboys LB Anthony Hitchens has been out since Aug. 15 with a bruised foot, and the Dallas Morning News reports that he won't get back onto the field until the end of the preseason. Hitchens had been in a walking boot but got out this week and still appears to be on track to start in the middle for the Cowboys. He's an OK shot to take as an IDP reserve but not a player to get excited about at this point.
Chargers LB Donald Butler told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he's feeling good. "Definitely, I feel a lot better than I did last year," he said. "I think that's the key thing overall." That follows a summer in which others have noticed him moving better. All Butler really needs to do is stay on the field for 3 downs and stay healthy to deliver some fantasy value. He has shown some big-play chops but has also played 16 games just once in 5 years since being drafted. Consider Butler as an upside reserve in IDP, but he brings a lot of risk as anything earlier.
Brandon Bolden operated as the Patriots' 1st-team passing-down back in Friday night's preseason game. He finished with 5 carries for 12 yards and 0 catches on 1 target. Dion Lewis was the change-of-pace back with QB Jimmy Garoppolo and the 2nd-team offense. He looked good in hauling in all 4 of his targets for 20 yards and a score. RB James White, meanwhile, didn't get on the field as far as we could tell. This situation remains as muddy as even with less than 2 weeks until New England's opener. Avoid all 3 guys in fantasy drafts.
Lions QB Matt Stafford stayed hot this preseason on Friday night. He completed 11 of 15 passes for 173 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs. Through 3 exhibitions, he's sitting on a 76% completion rate with 3 TDs and 0 picks. And he's done it all without WR Calvin Johnson. Stafford looks completely comfortable in his 2nd season in OC Joe Lombardi's offense. He's certainly in the QB1 mix, but his mid-7th-round ADP is a tad rich for us.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles was dealing in Friday night's preseason game against the Lions. The 2nd-year signal caller completed 20 of 29 passes for 241 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs in 2-and-a-half quarters of action. He added another 38 yards on 4 carries. Bortles looked confident in the pocket, comfortable in the offense, fit some balls into tight windows and used his athleticism when he had to. It was as impressive a performance we've seen by a QB this preseason. It's never wise to put too much stock into exhibitions, but Bortles seems ready to take a giant leap in his 2nd season. We just bumped him up our QB rankings.