1. Rob Gronkowksi news getting more pessimistic
The Gronk news had been rosy for most of the offseason. But we learned on Tuesday that he’s “50-50” to be ready for Week 1. Then insider Greg Bedard noted that Gronk was “favoring his right knee” in practice.
Gronkowski will only be 9 months removed from his torn ACL and MCL when the 2014 season kicks off. It’s not a major surprise that he might not be ready for the opener. And there’s no guarantee he’ll return to pre-injury form at any time this season.
Gronk’s ADP has climbed to the early 3rd round. We’ve seen him go in the 2nd in plenty of recent drafts. He’s far too risky for us to take that early.
2. Julio Jones expects to make preseason debut this weekend
Jones is expected to get on the field in Saturday’s preseason game against the Texans. It’ll be our first look at him in game action since he injured his foot last October. We’ll be looking to see if he’s regained his speed and explosion.
A healthy Jones has the potential to lead all WRs in fantasy scoring this season. But he’s also a huge injury risk. We’re avoiding him in the late 1st or early 2nd round but would roll the dice if Jones drops to the mid-2nd.
3. Tony Romo still not at 100%
Romo underwent back surgery in December. Reports on his rehab were positive all offseason. But that hasn’t been the case lately.
Romo has been on a pitch count in training camp and sat out the team’s preseason opener. QBs coach Wade Wilson admitted that Romo has been struggling with his deep ball. And Jason La Canfora wrote that Romo “isn’t himself” after attending Cowboys practice this week.
We can’t know whether Romo is just taking it easy in camp or if the back truly is giving him trouble. That’s why we’ll be keeping a close eye on him when he makes his preseason debut this weekend.
Romo still has plenty of fantasy upside thanks to a top-notch supporting cast and pass-happy play-caller. But if you’re rolling with him as your starter, make sure to secure a high-quality backup.
4. Le’Veon Bell’s workload a bit murky
It can be dangerous to read too much into preseason action. So we didn’t send Bell down our RB Rankings when he split 1st-team reps with LeGarrette Blount in the exhibition opener.
But it’s certainly a situation worth watching closely over the next couple weeks. There have been hints over the past month that Blount could play a bigger role than expected. Insider Ed Bouchette wrote back in July that the backfield will be “balanced.” Then HC Mike Tomlin said that Bell and Blount are "both going to get their share."
A hefty workload was a big part of Bell’s low-end RB1 appeal. If Blount steals anything more than 6-8 carries per game, Bell will become more RB2.
The situation is at least worth keeping in mind if you’re considering Bell in the 2nd round of your draft.
5. Brandin Cooks’ ADP is skyrocketing
Cooks has been the darling of training camp, drawing praise from coaches, teammates and beat writers on an almost daily basis. He hauled in 5 balls for 55 yards and a score in his preseason debut.
So it’s no surprise that Cooks’ ADP is climbing.
But it’s gotten out of hand. The rookie is going in the early 7th round of 12-team drafts on MyFantasyLeague.com since August 1. That’s up a full round from his July 1 ADP.
Cooks certainly has the ability to post top-25 fantasy numbers this season. But you’re essentially paying for his ceiling if you draft him in the 7th round.
We’d pass on him that early and snag a safer WR with similar upside, such as Kendall Wright, Mike Wallace or even Terrance Williams.
6. No clear handcuff for Arian Foster
When the Texans signed Andre Brown in April, we thought we had a nice insurance policy for Arian Foster. Four months later, Houston axed Brown, leaving the #2 spot on the depth chart wide open.
Jonathan Grimes is holding down that spot for now. He’s tough to get excited about, though. The 2012 undrafted free agent totaled 73 yards on 21 carries (3.5 YPC) across 2 appearances for the Texans last year.
Rookie Alfred Blue is the most intriguing of the bunch behind Foster. The 6'2, 223-pounder struggled with injuries at LSU but averaged an impressive 6.0 yards on 209 career carries. NFL.com's Nolan Nawrocki called him a "second-round talent."
Blue has some depth-chart climbing to do, though. In addition to Grimes, the Texans also signed free agents Ronnie Brown and William Powell this week.
The fantasy takeaway? Foster has no clear-cut handcuff for now, making him an even riskier pick in your draft.
7. Perfect Draft articles and updated rankings
We posted our 12-Team and 10-Team Perfect Draft articles for both PPR and Non-PPR leagues. These are your roadmaps to dominating your draft. Pair ‘em up with your MVP Board – with up-to-the-minute player projections – and you’re gonna be tough to beat.
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