The Patriots will open training camp with LB Dont'a Hightower on the PUP list. Hightower missed offseason workouts after dealing with knee and shoulder issues last season. The knee cost him 3 games and landed him on the injury report 8 times, but New England re-signed him in the offseason after the Jets and Steelers took seemingly serious looks at the vet. Durability has been a perennial issue for Hightower, who should continue to present more value to the Patriots than IDP owners when on the field. The team can activate Hightower from the camp PUP at any time.
The Colts will be placing S Clayton Geathers (neck) on the PUP list to open the regular season, ESPN reports. That will cost the 3rd-year safety at least the 1st 6 games. Geathers finished 2016 on IR because of a neck injury that eventually required surgery in March. He has yet to return to the field. A decision this early to put him on the PUP casts some doubt on whether Geathers will be available at all in 2017. And the fact that it's a neck issue looks worrisome for his outlook beyond the coming season. Needless to say, we've knocked him way down the 2017 IDP rankings. And he has tumbled down our dynasty IDP rankings as well. Converted CB Darius Butler is the early favorite to start with rookie S Malik Hooker. We'll see whether 2016 rookie T.J. Green enters the mix.
Vikings QB Sam Bradford is feeling comfortable in the offense heading to training camp. "Obviously last year was pretty unique, I have never been in that situation, and I don't think many people have been in that situation," Bradford said of his September 3 trade to Minnesota. "But just to be here this offseason, to be able to go through the program, go through the meetings, the installs, really sit down and learn this offense and what we're trying to do, it's a much better situation than showing up here however many days, eight or nine, before the first game last year and trying to learn everything on the fly." On top of having a full offseason with his team, Bradford will also have the same OC for consecutive seasons for just the 2nd time in his career. He finished 22nd among QBs in fantasy points last year and could climb a bit higher in 2017. You can probably do better than Bradford in your draft, but he could emerge as a spot-start option this season.
Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (shoulder) avoided the PUP list to open training camp. He underwent shoulder surgery early in the offseason, but it never seemed like something that would impact his 2017 campaign. Kelce led all TEs in fantasy points last year, albeit in a down season for the position. He's currently coming off the board in the 3rd round of 12-team PPR drafts.
Colts QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) has been placed on the active PUP list to start training camp. It's not a major surprise. And remember that he can be activated at any time and play Week 1. GM Chris Ballard did reveal on Monday that Luck has resumed throwing, hasn't experienced any setbacks and is on track to be ready for the start of the season. Ballard added that Luck is now working on "rebuilding strength" in his throwing shoulder. Neither the team nor Luck has expressed much concern about the situation this offseason, but there remains added risk here until we see him on the field.
Eagles WR Jordan Matthews will be limited at the start of training camp as he continues to deal with knee tendinitis, HC Doug Pederson said Monday. Matthews dealt with the issue throughout the offseason program. Pederson doesn't expect the problem to stretch into the regular season, but it bears monitoring over the next few weeks. Matthews is a fine value right now at his 9th-round ADP.
Vikings RB Latavius Murray (ankle) has been placed on the active PUP list to begin training camp. He's eligible to be activated at any time. Still, he's behind the 8 ball after undergoing surgery on March 22 and missing all of offseason workouts. He needs to get on the field in a hurry if he wants to beat out rookie Dalvin Cook for the lead job.
Bengals insider Jim Owczarski expects RB Gio Bernard (knee) to be cleared for the start of training camp later this week. He'll almost certainly be eased in, but it's good news after a June report that had Bernard iffy for Week 1. It now looks like he's on track for the opener, barring a setback over the next 6 weeks. Bernard's volume will take a hit this year with the arrival of rookie Joe Mixon. But he could still bring some value in PPR drafts, where his ADP is sitting in the 13th round.
"All indications" are that Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (back) will be ready for the start of training camp later this week, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer's Jim Owczarski. Eifert himself said back in April that he expected to be on the field for camp after undergoing back surgery in December. He'll likely be eased in -- and we'll see whether the Bengals put him on the field for any preseason action. Eifert's ceiling extends into the top 5 at his position, but he's 1 of the biggest injury risks in 2017 fantasy drafts.
Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot reports that Browns RB Duke Johnson has been lining up as a slot receiver "and could replace Andrew Hawkins in that role this season." Johnson's receiving skills are no secret, but that specific role should increase his playing time and give the young RB a path to regular touches even if Isaiah Crowell continues to work as the clear lead back. Johnson finished 2016 third on the team in targets (74) and 5th among all NFL RBs in that category. Hawkins finished last year 5th on the team with 54 targets. Johnson's target ceiling for 2017 could reach 90 -- perhaps even higher if WR Corey Coleman struggles further with durability issues.
It's "unclear" if Seahawks RB Eddie Lacy (ankle) will be at 100% when training camp opens on July 30, according to the Seattle Times' Bob Condotta. Lacy underwent surgery way back in October and was limited this spring. We haven't heard any concern that he won't be ready come Week 1, but his status will be worth keeping a close eye on. Condotta mentions that RB Thomas Rawls is expected to "run with the first team" when camp opens. If Rawls can rediscover his 2015 form, Condotta writes, there's "no way he won’t have a significant role." Rawls is an intriguing flier at his RB51 ADP.
Ravens WR Michael Campanaro will open training camp on the PUP list with the toe injury that cost him the final 3 weeks of offseason workouts. Durability has been a problem for Campanaro, who's played in just 11 games through 3 seasons. He looked a potential deep sleeper back in the winter, but this injury and the arrival of Jeremy Maclin has knocked Campanaro off the fantasy radar.
Titans QB Marcus Mariota will report to training camp at 215 pounds, his trainer told insider Paul Kuharsky. That's 7 pounds lighter than Mariota has been listed the past 2 years. “I have always told Marcus that I thought he should play at 215 pounds because I felt like he was the fastest at that weight,” trainer Ryan Flaherty said. “I told him that they can't hit what they can't catch so he should think about playing at a weight where he is his fastest ... He will be much quicker and faster this year and the goal with that will be to take less hits which will in turn keep him healthy." We'll see if the slimmer Mariota is able to make it through 16 games this season -- something he's yet to do -- but it should certainly raise his rushing ceiling.
Chargers QB Philip Rivers believes WR Keenan Allen is back in form after last season's torn ACL. He "looks like himself," Rivers said. "He looks just as good as before he got hurt." Allen will be a full year removed from the knee injury when the 2017 campaign kicks off. And with rookie Mike Williams looking unlikely to make an early-season impact (or maybe any impact at all), Allen's fantasy stock is on the rise.
The Cardinals have re-signed RB Chris Johnson to a 1-year deal. Johnson turns 32 in September, missed 12 games last year with a groin injury and averaged just 3.8 yards per carry in the other 4. He's the favorite to earn the #2 spot on Arizona's depth chart, but it'd likely be a committee backfield if David Johnson misses time this year. Chris Johnson is only worth rostering in fantasy leagues with deep benches.
Cardinals QB Carson Palmer entered the 2016 season with a tired arm, according to HC Bruce Arians. "Last year, he came in to September, he had already wore his arm out by overthrowing all summer," Arians said. "We found a nice regimen, [and by] November and December he was playing as good as he's ever played." Palmer has adjusted his routine this offseason, and Arians believes his arm is "stronger than ever." Palmer finished 16th among QBs in fantasy points last season but is just a year removed from a top-5 finish. There's plenty of upside at his QB23 ADP.
Count Packers RBs coach Ben Sirmans coach among those eager to see what Ty Montgomery can do in his 1st full season at RB. "... You can see (that he’s) an instinctive runner, you can see all those things come into play,” Sirmans said. “I guess the biggest thing I can say is, I’m very, very excited about him – without saying ‘This is what I expect, this is what he’s going to be.’ I’m just really excited. Really excited about him.” Montgomery ripped off 5.9 yards per carry -- in addition to catching 44 balls -- after moving to RB last year. Now in line to serve as Green Bay's lead back all season, Montgomery's fantasy upside reaches into RB1 territory.
The Dallas police department announced that the investigation into the incident Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott was involved in last weekend has been suspended. The cops haven't been able to contact the victim, and no witnesses have come forward. It looks like Zeke will escape this one, but there's still a good chance he's slapped with a suspension. Trouble has followed him throughout his first year in the league.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that "there is concern" that Chargers WR Mike Williams will need season-ending back surgery. The rookie suffered what was deemed a "mild disc herniation in his lower back" in mid-May and has been sidelined since. According to Schefter, the Chargers are hoping that a 2nd epidural Williams recently received will allow him to avoid surgery and return to the field at some point during training camp. "This may be a lot more serious than people thought," a source told Schefter. Another source, though, was optimistic that Williams will not need surgery. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, meanwhile, hears from 2 sources that surgery is "NOT on the table now." We'll keep an eye on this. But even if Williams avoids surgery, he's way behind the 8-ball and can't be expected to make an early-season impact. He's pretty much undraftable in redraft fantasy leagues. Tyrell Williams figures to open the year as the Chargers' #2 WR and is a nice value at his recent WR47 ADP.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco liked what he saw from WR Breshad Perriman this spring. "You can just see the confidence in his eyes," Flacco said. "That's the first thing. Then when you go out there, it's kind of back to how I felt probably the first couple of practices his rookie year, when he was running by people, and you can tell he had something. He's back at that level, running, and his confidence is at an all-time high. He's out there playing, man. It's exciting to see." HC John Harbaugh and TE Dennis Pitta talked up Perriman in May, and ESPN's Jamison Hensley believes he had the "most impressive offseason" among Ravens WRs. Perriman's 2017 fantasy projection took a hit with the arrival of Jeremy Maclin, but his ADP has also sunk into the 14th round. He's a fine stab at that point.
Did you know that Doug Baldwin faced 9 bottom-8 WR defenses last year? Or that Jordan Howard drew 7 top-8 RB defenses? Find out who else will benefit from an easier schedule or be tasked with a tougher slate in 2017.8:07am EDT 7/20/17 Read More
©2017 Draft Sharks | website by:
300 State Street, Suite 405, Rochester, NY 14614 | 413-274-2757