Shark Bites

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.

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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.

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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.

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4 hours ago

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.

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12 hours ago

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.

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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.

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12 hours ago

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Chiefs fed WR Jeremy Maclin in their 3rd preseason game on Friday night.  He saw 8 targets, hauling in 7 of them for 65 yards and a score in 1 half of action.  The only incompletion came from QB Chase Daniel.  QB Alex Smith went 7-for-7 targeting Maclin.  This follows a 3-22-1 line in just a couple of series in last week's game.  It's clear that Maclin will be featured in Kansas City's passing game.  And he's developed a nice rapport with Smith.  Maclin is a nice value at his late-5th-round ADP.

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The Redskins have changed their mind and won't play QB Robert Griffin (concussion) in their 3rd preseason game.  The team released a statement from its independent neurologist that read in part, "upon further scrutiny today of the neuropsychology data, I agree with the neuropsychologist that he should be held from gameplay this weekend and be retested in one-two weeks before a firm conclusion to return to gameplay can be made."  Not only is RG3 is missing the regular-season dress rehearsal, but it also sounds like he's not a lock to be cleared in time for Week 1.  Avoid Griffin in fantasy drafts.

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Panthers WR Devin Funchess (hamstring) won't play in tonight's preseason game against the Patriots.  He returned to practice this week but must not be at 100%.  It's the 2nd straight game the rookie has missed.  It's obviously not ideal for a guy the Panthers are hoping will emerge as their #1 WR this season.  Funchess has the potential to develop into a weekly fantasy starter, but we're not drafting him as more than a WR4.

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19 hours ago

"Without being asked about Kevin Minter specifically, Calais Campbell and Jerraud Powers raved about how the ILB played in camp." That's what Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic reported Friday. It's easy to look past Minter after an empty rookie year and a lackluster 1st turn as a starter last year. But the Cards made him a 2nd-round pick 2 years ago after Minter closed out his 3 seasons at LSU with 130 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 4 sacks in his final year. Keep him in mind as a late sleeper in your IDP draft.

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ESPN's James Walker expects Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry to "do a lot of damage in the red-zone" this season.  Landry scored just 5 times and saw only 14 red-zone targets as a rookie last year.  But we've already seen him score in the 1st preseason game on a designed play from the 2-yard line and then see 2 red-zone targets in the 2nd.  Walker "wouldn't be surprised" if Landry doubles his TD total this season.  We're not betting on that, but even 7-8 scores would make him a solid weekly starter in non-PPR leagues.  He's already there in PPR.

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Titans RB David Cobb is dealing with a calf injury and won't play in the team's 3rd preseason game, per insider Jim Wyatt.  It's a poorly timed injury for Cobb, who had just started pushing RB Bishop Sankey for the lead job.  Sankey can take command of that role with a solid showing against the Chiefs on Friday night.  But this backfield will still likely end up as a committee.

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Bucs WR Mike Evans told the Tampa Tribune that he could play on his ailing hamstring this weekend if he needed to. The team, of course, decided to go ahead and shut him down for the preseason to rest it. “I think it’s smart,” Evans said. “There’s no reason to risk it. I’ve already proven myself. And this way I can just try to get back for Week 1 of the regular season.” This should ease any fantasy concern over Evans a bit. It still would have been nice for the 2nd-year wideout to get more live-action work with his rookie QB, but Evans remains a solid chance to take from about the middle of Round 3 on in PPR drafts.

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Colts insider Stephen Holder believes Phillip Dorsett has the "inside track" for the #3 WR job.  "He can play in the slot, runs solid short and deep routes, and he is the fastest receiver the Colts have," Holder writes.  Dorsett has buzzed since the Colts drafted him in the 1st round this spring.  And he's hauled in 7 of 11 targets for 72 yards through 2 preseason games.  Holder adds that Donte Moncrief remains in the mix for #3 duties, but Dorsett looks like the better late-round flier right now.

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