Broncos RB C.J. Anderson checked into training camp at 217 pounds -- 7 less than his listed weight. It's showing on the field. Andrew Mason of the team's official website noted that Anderson "looked quick when he made his cuts in the backfield" during Thursday's practice. Insider Cecil Lammey said Anderson "looks faster than I've ever seen him, very swift as a runner or receiver out of the backfield." The clear lead back in what figures to be a run-heavy offense, Anderson has tons of fantasy upside. He's a nice target at his 4th-round ADP.
Patriots WR Julian Edelman (foot) was spotted running routes off to the side of practice on Thursday. "He was moving at a good clip," observed insider Tom Curran. Edelman remains on the PUP list after April foot surgery, but it sounds like he's not far off from being cleared to practice. He's going in the early 4th round of recent MFL10 drafts.
Steelers TE Ladarius Green (ankle) has been placed on the active/PUP list to begin training camp. He underwent ankle surgery in January and missed all of spring workouts. That he's still not ready to get on the field is concerning. He's missing valuable time to get comfortable with QB Ben Roethlisberger and in OC Todd Haley's offense. Green has obvious TE1 upside, but he's a risky fantasy pick until we know that he's healthy.
Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell (knee) avoided the PUP list at the start of training camp. "I'm going to do as much as coach [Mike] Tomlin lets me do," he said. "I'm confident where I am right now. I felt if we had a game tomorrow, I'd be able to play." Bell, of course, is facing a 4-game suspension. So he won't be playing until October. It at least sounds like he'll be a full-go when that time comes. Bell is still capable of leading all RBs in fantasy points over the final 13 weeks.
Bucs RB Doug Martin focused on ball security over the offseason. The 27-year-old fumbled 5 times in 2015 after posting only 2 over his first 3 seasons. "I watched all those fumbles after last season," Martin said. "It was more of me fighting for extra yards, not having my other arm on the ball, other hand on the ball. That will all be corrected. I don't look to be fumbling that much this year." Tampa Bay has a talented #2 option in Charles Sims, but we're not holding the fumbles against Martin. He'll remain busy after earning a pricey new 5-year deal in March.
Colts WR Donte Moncrief is ready for the start of training camp. He missed spring workouts after undergoing surgery to address a turf toe issue. “I’m healthy right now, man,” Moncrief said. “I’m ready to go. My toe is back right, so I’m just ready to go out there and run and see how I feel to get out there with my boys.” There's breakout potential here if a healthy Andrew Luck bounces back. But you'll need to pay up to land Moncrief, who's going in the early 4th round as the 23rd WR off the board.
Giants WR Victor Cruz avoided the active/PUP list and is expected to be on the field for the team's 1st training camp practice on Friday, per insider Art Stapleton. That's a good start for Cruz, who is battling back from serious patellar tendon and calf injuries. Of course, he was ready for the start of camp last year and then missed the entire season. We'll be keeping a close eye on him this time around but aren't betting on a fantasy impact.
Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 MCL sprain, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's the least severe grade and is considered a minor injury. Rapoport expects Baltimore to "proceed cautiously," though. We're still over 6 weeks away from the start of the season, so there's no need to rush Dixon back. But an extended absence would hurt his chances of earning an early-season role.
Jets RB Khiry Robinson opened training camp on the active/PUP list. He’s still working his way back from a broken leg suffered last November. When healthy, Robinson could carve out a role as New York's short-yardage and goal line rusher.
Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon injured his knee in Thursday's training camp practice. HC John Harbaugh said afterward that Dixon "should be fine." We'll see if we learn more about the exact injury, but the rookie can't afford to miss much time in a crowded Baltimore backfield. Justin Forsett is the favorite to open the season as the starting RB.
Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) avoided the PUP list to open training camp. That's not a surprise after he was able to sprint and run routes this spring. Carolina might still play it safe with the young WR -- it's uncertain if he'll play in the preseason -- but Benjamin is on track to be ready to roll come Week 1. He'll be over a year removed from his torn ACL at that point.
The Saints have signed WR Hakeem Nicks to a 1-year deal. Nicks' name is much bigger than his game at this point. He mustered just 7 catches in 6 appearances with the Giants last year. That followed a disappointing 38-405-4 campaign in Indianapolis. Ignore him in fantasy drafts until he gives us a reason not to.
Redskins WR Josh Doctson was placed on the active/PUP list to begin training camp. He already missed a bunch of time this spring with foot and Achilles issues. A healthy Doctson has the talent to push for a significant role, but he's expected to open the season as Washington's 4th WR. The rookie is just a late-round bench stash in redraft leagues.
The Jets re-signed QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to a 1-year deal worth $12 million. Finally. Fitz returns just in time for training camp, as the Jets first practice is Thursday. It’s great news for Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall, who showed excellent chemistry with Fitzpatrick last season. While the veteran passer is a long-shot to post another QB1 season, a loaded offense — and his success alongside OC Chan Gailey — indicates that Fitz will remain useful in 2016.
Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed his conditioning test at the start of training camp on Wednesday. He'll get another crack on Thursday, and the team is "not concerned" about him, according to insider Jeff Zrebiec. "They've been pleased with how hard he's worked." As long as Wallace is able to pass the test and get on the field within the next few days, this will be a non-issue.
Eagles RB Ryan Mathews was placed on the active/non-football injury list with an ankle injury reportedly suffered last week. Mathews was spotted walking into the team facility on Wednesday, and the issue "isn't considered serious," per insider Jeff McLane. Still, it's not a good look for a guy who's missed 23 games through 6 NFL seasons. We'll see when Mathews is able to get back on the field.
The Rams have released QB Nick Foles. He was brutal in his 1 season with the team, completing 56.4% of his passes, averaging 6.1 yards per attempt and tossing 7 TDs vs. 10 INTs in 11 appearances. Foles will latch on elsewhere (Broncos?) but is a poor bet to make starts this year. Los Angeles is paving the way for #1 overall pick Jared Goff. Only Case Keenum stands between Goff and the starting job.
Texans insider Aaron Wilson gives Jaelen Strong a "pretty good chance" to win the #2 WR job. The Texans were "thrilled with him in the spring, with his attitude and conditioning," Wilson said on Rotoviz Radio. "He was plucking it out of the air ... doing a lot of good things after the catch." Wilson did also note that there's still a chance Strong is slapped with a suspension for his marijuana arrest earlier this offseason, but that might not come until 2017. Strong had a poor rookie season but remains an intriguing prospect whom the Texans spent a 3rd-round pick on just a couple of years ago. A low-volume passing game and the presence of target hog DeAndre Hopkins still caps Strong's upside, but he could emerge as at least a best-ball option if he holds off Will Fuller and Cecil Shorts for that #2 spot.
Cowboys RB Darren McFadden is "on schedule" to be ready for Week 1, according to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole. A scan of the elbow he broke in June came back "good." The missed training camp and preseason time still gives Alfred Morris a shot to win the #2 RB job behind Ezekiel Elliott, though. Both Morris and McFadden are only worth considering in deep fantasy leagues.
Chargers TE Antonio Gates needs 8 TDs to pass Tony Gonzalez for most all-time among TEs. QB Philip Rivers said 1 of his goals this season is to get Gates there, according to ESPN's Eric Williams. That's notable -- we rarely hear QBs openly talk about wanting to get a teammate a certain amount of production. Gates has reached 8 scores in just 1 of his last 5 seasons, but he's averaged 7 per year over that span. So 8 is definitely doable this season. Gates is a solid value at his current 10th-round ADP.
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