Nate Taylor of The Athletic tweeted Tuesday that Chiefs rookie RB Darwin Thompson "appears to have leaped" over Carlos Hyde on the depth chart. That comes amid reports that Thompson has been splitting 1st-team reps with Damien Williams in practice this week. Hyde, meanwhile, has generated no positive buzz that we've seen. Thompson remains a draft value as of now, with an ADP in the middle of Round 12 in Draft.com 12-team, best-ball drafting this week. But we wouldn't be surprised if he climbs over the next week or so. Beware of reaching for the rookie too early, but the high-ceiling situation will keep him in consideration.
Insider Jay Glazer writes that Rams WR Cooper Kupp might just be better now than before he tore his ACL last November. "All his test scores, coming out of his breaks, agility, quickness, every test timed better than it was before he tore his ACL," according to Glazer. It's another in a long list of glowing reports on Kupp's recovery from that shredded knee. His ADP has climbed to WR21 -- but he's still capable of returning value at that price tag. Kupp ranked 15th among WRs in PPR points per game last year.
Chargers WR Keenan Allen is already back at practice after injuring his ankle last week. "He’s in great shape, explosive and looks really good," HC Ken Whisenhunt said on Wednesday. "In practice today, he looked good again. He rolled his ankle a little bit last week and he was back out there today. I’m really excited about Keenan." Allen won't play in the final 2 preseason games but is clearly on track to be ready for Week 1. He remains a safe pick in the 3rd round of fantasy drafts.
Redskins insider JP Finlay "wouldn't be shocked" if WR Josh Doctson was cut before Week 1. "What I can tell you from sources, they've tried to trade Doctson for two years. They haven't been able to trade him," Finlay said. "The athletic ability is there, but it never all comes together. I wouldn't be shocked if Josh Doctson gets cut when they go down to 53. I don't expect it to happen, but Jay Gruden and the front office made a big proclamation when they didn't pick up that [5th-year] option." Finlay went on to say that Paul Richardson, Trey Quinn and Terry McLaurin are all ahead of Doctson on the depth chart. Doctson is obviously off the redraft radar, and his dynasty stock continues to sink.
Chargers RB Melvin Gordon's holdout is now expected to last into the regular season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. "Contract talks have not progressed as he hoped," Rapoport says. "The relationship between Gordon and the Chargers is fine. There's a mutual respect. There's just a disagreement over the value of Gordon." We're still 2-and-a-half week away from the start of the season, so we're not convinced that Gordon is a lock to miss games at this point. But with seemingly little progress being made on a new contract, the odds of him sitting out games is certainly growing. Gordon's ADP has sunk into the 4th round in recent fantasy drafts.
Broncos HC Vic Fangio expects TE Noah Fant to be ready for Week 1 after spraining his ankle in Monday night's preseason game. The rookie was targeted on 3 of QB Joe Flacco's 11 attempts in that one, catching 2 for 7 yards. If healthy, Fant looks set to open the season with a significant role in this passing game. He's on the TE2 radar.
Eagles insider Jimmy Kempski writes that RB Miles Sanders has "quelled concerns about his ability in pass protection and as a receiver out of the backfield." The rookie hasn't caught a pass through 2 preseason games but did have a nice blitz pickup in the 2nd exhibition. Passing-game usage has been our biggest concern with Sanders' 2019 fantasy production. We're still not expecting huge receiving numbers, but we did just boost his projections there.
Bears HC Matt Nagy believes he "probably gave [RB Tarik Cohen] a little bit too much" last season. ‘‘And when you mentally drain them, it pulls them back physically," Nagy explained. Cohen played 46% of the Bears' offensive snaps in 2018, averaging 6.2 carries and 5.7 targets per game. We currently have him projected for 5.4 carries and 5.1 targets per game this year, so we're buying a reduced workload. The offshoot here is that less work for Cohen could mean more work for rookie RB David Montgomery.
The Cowboys on Tuesday activated DE DeMarcus Lawrence from the PUP. He had missed all of training camp after April surgery for a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The joint had reportedly bothered him for 2 seasons. We'll keep an eye on reports of his progress, but Lawrence returning a couple of weeks before the start of the season is a good sign that the star pass rusher will be able to help the Dallas defense and our IDP lineups.
Bengals HC Zac Taylor expects WR John Ross (hamstring) to be ready for Week 1. The oft-injured wideout has been sidelined since early July with his latest ailment. If healthy, he figures to serve as Cincinnati's #2 WR until A.J. Green is ready to return from his ankle injury. It'll still be tough to consider Ross more than a DFS flier, though. He's been completely unreliable through his first 2 NFL seasons.