Shark Bites

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger told reporters on Tuesday that his arm feels "really good." He added that he'll be on a "pitch count" in training camp. Big Ben's return from last September's surgery on his throwing elbow is 1 of the bigger fantasy storylines of the summer. Unfortunately, we won't get to see him in preseason action -- and even his on-field camp time will be limited. It obviously adds risk to both Roethlisberger and his pass-catchers.

Washington has signed WR Dontrelle Inman. The 31-year-old has spent time with the Chargers, Bears and Colts over 6 NFL seasons. He had a 58-catch campaign back in 2016 but has totaled just 65 grabs in the 3 seasons since. Inman is basically a replacement-level player -- but there's opportunity in Washington with WR Kelvin Harmon out of the year and WR Cody Latimer on the Commissioner's Exempt List. Inman and rookie Antonio Gandy-Golden figure to be battling for the outside WR spot opposite Terry McLaurin.

The Seahawks placed RB Rashaad Penny (knee) on the active/PUP list. No surprise here. Penny is still rehabbing from last December's torn ACL and is a candidate for the reserve/PUP list, which would cost him the first 6 games of the season. He's only worth considering in fantasy drafts over 20 rounds. Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde figure to open the season as Seattle's top 2 RBs.

Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew has been removed from the COVID list. We still don't know whether or not he had the virus -- but it's a non-issue for now. Minshew is locked in as Jacksonville's starter and is an intriguing late-round QB2 selection in fantasy drafts.

The 49ers have signed TE Jordan Reed. The 30-year-old missed the entire 2019 campaign after sustaining his 7th documented concussion. When we last saw him in 2018, Reed racked up 45 catches for 499 yards and 3 TDs in 9 games. There should still be gas left in his tank for as long as he can stay on the field. Of course, Reed will be stuck behind George Kittle in San Francisco and won't be a fantasy factor without a Kittle injury.

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said his team is "counting on" TE Jace Sternberger this season. His rookie year was basically wiped out by injury, but Jimmy Graham's departure paves the way for Sternberger to take over as Green Bay's lead TE in 2020. “From the time we drafted him, we looked at Jace as a matchup problem," Gutekunst said. "He’s a very gifted athlete." Sternberger landed on the COVID list to open training camp, so his status bears monitoring. But he's a breakout candidate with the Packers desperate for pass-catching weapons behind Davante Adams.

Dolphins WR Preston Williams (knee) has been "cleared for football activity," HC Brian Flores said Monday. That's a pleasant surprise after Williams tore his ACL on November 3. He's been running and rehabbing, per Flores, and is now focusing on learning new OC Chan Gailey's offense. Williams tallied a 32-428-3 line on 60 targets in 8 games last year, ranking 36th among WRs in PPR points over that span. Miami made no significant WR additions this offseason, so Williams should open the campaign in 2-WR sets alongside DeVante Parker.

Patriots RB Sony Michel (foot) has been placed on the active/PUP list to open training camp. He's still recovering from May foot surgery. He shed his walking boot in mid-July, but we still have no timetable for his return to the field. We'll see when he's able to get back out there -- and whether 2nd-year RB Damien Harris can take advantage of Michel's absence.

Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew has been placed on the COVID list. He has no real competition for the starting job, but missed camp time wouldn't be ideal for the 2nd-year man. We'll see when he's able to get cleared. Backup RB Ryquell Armstead was also placed on Jacksonville's COVID list.

Lions QB Matt Stafford has been placed on the COVID list. He joins teammates WR Kenny Golladay and TE T.J. Hockenson. We'll see when these key pieces of Detroit's passing attack are cleared for action.

Colts WR T.Y. Hilton has been placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury list with a hamstring issue. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero calls it a "mild" injury that Hilton suffered getting ready for camp. Still, it's not ideal for a 30-year-old wideout who's missed 8 games over the past 2 seasons We'll keep a close eye on the situation.

Browns WR Jarvis Landry (hip) has been placed on the active/PUP list. He's eligible to be removed at any time and play Week 1. Landry is still recovering from February hip surgery, which was expected to sideline him for 6-8 months. He's just about at the 6-month mark now. Landry has only said that he's hoping to be cleared in time for Week 1. We'll continue to keep a close eye on his status.

Steelers WR James Washington has been placed on the COVID list. A prolonged absence might give rookie Chase Claypool a chance to claim Pittsburgh's #3 WR job, which belongs to Washington for now. We'll see when he's able to get back on the field. RB Jaylen Samuels was also placed on the COVID list.

Jets ILB C.J. Mosley has opted out for the upcoming season, according to multiple reports. That removes the Jets' big free-agent addition from last offseason for the 2nd straight year. Mosley missed basically all of 2019 after suffering a groin injury in the 1st half of the opener. The defense does get back ILB Avery Williamson from the ACL tear that cost him last season. Neville Hewitt, Blake Cashman and offseason addition Patrick Onwuasor figure to compete for Mosley's role. Williamson gets a big boost to his fantasy ceiling. He finished top 15 among fantasy LBs in 2018 and certainly has that potential again.

Giants TE Evan Engram (foot) avoided the PUP list to open training camp. He spent the offseason rehabbing from December Lisfranc surgery but was running and cutting by the end of June. Durability has been a major problem for Engram, who's missed 14 games over 3 NFL seasons. But he's also consistently produced as a top 7 fantasy TE when he's been on the field. He's a risk/reward pick at his 7th-round ADP.

Eagles RBs coach Duce Staley believes Miles Sanders is ready to handle "the full load" this season. "I think you put him in and you let him go," Staley added. Sanders averaged 15.4 carries and 4 catches over his final 7 healthy games last year, scoring as a top 8 PPR RB during that stretch. He should be looking at a similar workload in 2020 -- especially considering the Eagles haven't added any significant competition. Sanders is worth considering in the back half of the 1st round of fantasy drafts.

WR Antonio Brown has been suspended 8 games for multiple violations of the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy. Brown, of course, remains a free agent. And this suspension won't help his chances of finding a job. He's not worth considering in fantasy drafts right now.

Packers TE Jace Sternberger has been placed on the COVID reserve list. We'll see when he's cleared and able to get on the field. Sternberger has a huge opportunity to carve out a significant role in Green Bay's passing game this season. But he can't afford to miss much time after a lost rookie year.

8:07pm EDT 7/30/20

The Bucs have signed RB LeSean McCoy. It's a 1-year deal for the veteran minimum, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, which says a lot about how much McCoy has to offer at this point. The 32-year-old was a healthy scratch for 6 of the Chiefs' final 11 games last year (including playoffs) and totaled just 29 carries and 12 targets in the other 5. He finished the season with 4.6 yards per carry but ranked 44th in Elusive Rating and 35th in Pro Football Focus' rushing grades among 45 RBs with 100+ carries. McCoy isn't even a lock to make the Bucs' final roster -- let alone be a fantasy factor this season. We'll keep an eye on the situation. But for now, we're not adjusting the projections for Ronald Jones or Ke'Shawn Vaughn.

The Panthers have released K Graham Gano. That leaves the starting job for now to K Joey Slye, who connected on 78% of FG attempts and 87% of XPs last year. Carolina might still bring in competition if Slye struggles in August.

 
 
 

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