Packers TE Jared Cook has no timetable for return after undergoing June foot surgery. He opened training camp on the active/PUP list and could be out until the 2nd week of the preseason, a source told insider Michael Cohen. It doesn't sound like Cook is in danger of missing the start of the regular season, but any missed time is bad news for a guy learning a new offense. There's plenty of upside here with QB Aaron Rodgers chucking him the rock, but Cook can't be drafted as more than a TE2 flier.
49ers QB Colin Kaepernick has been cleared by his doctor for the start of training camp, per insider Matt Barrows. He still needs to receive clearance from the team. Kaep had surgery on his left shoulder, right thumb and left knee this offseason. He missed all of spring workouts, putting him behind QB Blaine Gabbert on the depth chart. But a healthy Kaepernick is still capable of winning this starting job. Gabbert is his competition, after all.
Packers HC Mike McCarthy is ready to put questions about RB Eddie Lacy's weight to bed. "Eddie's ready," McCarthy said Tuesday. Lacy reportedly lost 15-18 pounds between the end of last season and the start of OTAs in April. He continued working with personal trainer Tony Horton this summer and "appeared to be leaner" for the start of training camp, according to ESPN's Rob Demovsky. Lacy has lots on the line in the last year of his rookie deal. He seems ready to recapture the form that made him a top 8 PPR RB in both of his first 2 seasons.
Browns TE Gary Barnidge passed his physical, according to insider Mary Kay Cabot. He underwent sports hernia surgery in June and might still be limited at the start of training camp, per Cabot. But Barnidge should be a full-go well ahead of Week 1. Although his stock took a bit of a hit with the reinstatement of WR Josh Gordon, Barnidge is still in the low-end TE1 mix.
Knee tendonitis is keeping Packers WR Jordy Nelson from the start of training camp, according to ESPN's Ed Werder. It's believed to be the result of over-compensating during his rehab from last year's torn ACL in the opposite knee. "Not viewed as serious currently," Werder adds. These compensation-related lower-leg injuries can pile up, though. Former NFL head team doctor David Chao notes that tendonitis "can linger for months."
Browns WR Josh Gordon will miss a “few weeks” with a quad injury, per team insider Mary Kay Cabot. Gordon suffered the injury during a workout. It’s an unfortunate setback for a guy who could use all the training camp reps he can handle. Still, the relatively minor injury shouldn't be a factor once he's eligible to return in Week 5.
ESPN's Jeff Dickerson says Bears WR Kevin White "looks like Julio Jones ... great size/speed/strength." At 6'3, 215 pounds with 4.3 speed, White is similar to Jones from a pure measurables perspective. (He actually bests Jones in SPARQ score, 99th percentile to 90th.) Of course, White is completely unproven after missing his entire rookie season with a stress fracture in his leg. He's back to 100% now, though, and had an impressive spring. There's plenty of fantasy upside here, even as the #2 WR behind Alshon Jeffery. White is going in the 7th round of recent MFL10s.
Chargers RB Danny Woodhead suffered a sprained ankle during a minicamp practice in June. But per the San Diego Union-Tribune, Woodhead won’t miss time at the start of training camp. “It took a couple weeks, but now I’m as healthy as I’ve been in a long time,” he said. “I feel great going into the season.” The 31-year-old retains RB2 appeal in PPR formats.
The Lions have signed WR Anquan Boldin to a 1-year deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The 35-year-old remained useful last season, hauling in 69 balls for 789 yards and 4 scores in a bad 49ers offense. That 11.4 yards per catch was his worst since 2004, though. Boldin is nothing more than a short-range possession target at this point, leaving him without much fantasy upside. He figures to slide in as Detroit's #3 WR behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. Boldin's work near the line of scrimmage could take a bit out of Tate and TE Eric Ebron's targets.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune believes the Saints could try to trade or cut RB C.J. Spiller before the end of training camp. He was a bust in his 1st year with the team, averaging just 3.0 yards per carry and 7.1 yards per catch. Spiller blamed the performance on his bum knee, though, and HC Sean Payton said this spring that he looked "noticeably different." If healthy, we're guessing that Spiller sticks on the roster. We highlighted his upside recently, but he should only be considered a late-round flier for now.
Packers WR Jordy Nelson told reporters on Tuesday that he had a "hiccup" with his left knee. That's the opposite knee in which he tore his ACL last August. He's had previous issues with the left knee, though, including a sprained PCL in college. Nelson, who's on the reserve/PUP list, doesn't know when he'll be cleared to practice but said that his Week 1 availability is "not in jeopardy." We're not moving him down the WR rankings right now, but you should at least consider him a risky pick at his early 2nd round ADP.
Broncos insider Cameron Wolfe calls RB C.J. Anderson the "heart of the offense." That's been QB Peyton Manning for the past 4 seasons. But with Manning gone, Denver is expected to lean more on the running game in 2016. Note that HC Gary Kubiak's offenses have ranked top 11 in rushing attempts in 13 of 21 seasons. Anderson is the strong favorite to lead the backfield this year. Wolfe believes he "has the potential to be a 1,500-yard rusher."
Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount avoided the PUP list at the start of training camp. It's good news after he missed all of spring workouts due to a December hip injury. Blount has been bandied about as a summer cut candidate, but if healthy, he's New England's best "big back." There's value in his 13th-round non-PPR ADP.
Washington OLB Junior Galette tore his right Achilles' tendon and is expected to miss the season, the Washington Times reports. Galette missed all of last season after tearing his left Achilles' tendon in August but re-signed in March and had apparently been progressing well. Washington could use the pass rush help, but the defense should have Ryan Kerrigan and 2nd-year man Preston Smith set to start on the edges for 2016. Losing Galette doesn't alter the outlook for a defense that already sits well outside of starter territory for fantasy football drafts.
Vikings rookie WR Laquon Treadwell admitted that he wasn’t at full health during his final year at Ole Miss. Treadwell, of course, suffered an ugly leg injury that included a broken left tibia and a dislocated left ankle in 2014. “I wasn’t 100 percent in anything I did from the beginning of spring ball (in 2015) to pro day (at Mississippi on March 28),” he said. “I was playing on one leg my whole junior season. Last year wasn’t fun going out and being hurt and trying to play.” Treadwell struggled with drops early in OTAs, but the good news is that he’s back to full health. The 21-year-old just doesn’t carry a high ceiling as a member of the run-heavy Vikings.
Packers WR Ty Montgomery (ankle) was placed on active/PUP to begin training camp. Limited to only 6 games last season, the 2nd-year WR must return quickly to have a chance to win the #3 WR role. For now, Davante Adams and Jeff Janis are the frontrunners for that gig.
Packers WR Jordy Nelson (knee) was placed on active/PUP to begin training camp. It's a surprise only because Nelson has been running full speed for months and recently declared himself game-ready. Green Bay would be wise to play it safe with the 31-year-old, though. He figures to be activated at some point before the end of camp. We'd like to see Nelson get a few preseason snaps.
Patriots WR Julian Edelman (foot), WR Danny Amendola (knee) and RB Dion Lewis (knee) were all placed on active/PUP list to open training camp. None of this comes as a surprise, and all 3 are eligible to be activated at any point and play Week 1. None are guaranteed to be ready at that point, though. We'll continue to track the progress of all 3 guys. They combined for 162 catches last year -- 40% of the team total.
The NFL is reinstating Browns WR Josh Gordon and will suspend him for the 1st 4 games of the regular season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That returns not only Cleveland's top wideout, but a guy who has displayed top-12 fantasy football potential even in a bad passing game. Gordon has remained in the range of rounds 10-12 in best-ball drafting even while we all awaited reinstatement news, so he's sure to climb well into the single-digit rounds now. We'll have to see just how high he climbs before assessing whether he's overvalued or worth targeting. Keep in mind that Cleveland appears to be hoping that Robert Griffin III can rebound from playing no games in 2015 to become the starter. The whole offense will bear close watching in training camp. Gordon's return might most impact the fantasy outlook of rookie Corey Coleman, who likely goes from de facto lead wideout to #2 WR in an offense that hopes to lean run.
ESPN's John Keim told colleague Mike Clay that WR Josh Doctson is "unlikely to work much in 3-WR sets" this season. His rookie-year role will be as a backup to DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. Those 2 will operate primarily as the outside receivers, and Washington likes Jamison Crowder in the slot. Doctson won't be useable in fantasy football if he's 4th on the depth chart. We wouldn't rule out the possibility that he takes over Garcon's spot later in the season, though.
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