Shark Bites

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead missed practice Wednesday with a concussion. It's the 1st we've heard of the injury, so Burkhead must have developed symptoms since Sunday's game. He'll obviously need to pass through the league protocol before returning to action. We'll see about Burkhead's availability Sunday at Jacksonville. RB Sony Michel (knee) put in a limited practice Wednesday and could be a potential replacement if Burkhead's not ready.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Browns plan to play WR Josh Gordon "roughly 20 snaps, give or take." That's certainly enough for Gordon to compile some stats, but it's also about one-third of a normal game's worth of offensive snaps. Use Gordon in fantasy football lineups at your own risk.

11:09am EDT 9/9/18

Patriots RB Sony Michel (knee) is inactive for today’s game against the Texans. The rookie has been limited in practice the past couple of weeks and seemingly has a shot to debut in Week 2. But it might be October before we can trust him in fantasy lineups. Rex Burkhead, James White and Jeremy Hill will handle backfield duties for the Pats today.

Patriots RB Sony Michel is not expected to play in today's opener against the Texans, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Michel is officially questionable with his knee issue. His absence would add upside to RB Rex Burkhead for fantasy lineups. We'll see, though, about Burkhead's workload as he deals with his own knee issue.

Patriots RB Sony Michel (knee) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Texans. He was limited in practice all week. Even if he plays, we’re not expecting the rookie to play a big Week 1 role after missing most of August. He’s a strong stash but shouldn’t be in fantasy lineups this week.

Browns WR Josh Gordon (hamstring) is not listed on the final Week 1 injury report. He put in a full practice on Friday after being limited on Wednesday and Thursday. Gordon won't start this weekend's game against the Steelers -- rookie Antonio Callaway will -- and he's expected to be on a snap count. It leaves Gordon as a risk/reward WR3 for Week 1.

ESPN's Mike Reiss expects Patriots RB Rex Burkhead to be "eased into the mix" as he works back from his knee injury. Burkhead has been practicing for a few weeks now, so the report is a bit surprising. New England is also thin at RB, with Sony Michel (knee) iffy for the opener. James White is a pass-catching back, and Jeremy Hill is the only other RB on the roster. We're curious to see exactly what the Patriots offense will look like considering they're also razor thin at WR. Expect White, WR Chris Hogan and TE Rob Gronkowski to be super busy against Houston on Sunday. Burkhead is shaping up as a risk/reward RB2.

Patriots RB Sony Michel (knee) was limited in Wednesday's practice. He's been practicing for about a week now but still isn't a full-go. His availability for Week 1 remains uncertain -- but he'll be tough to trust in fantasy lineups even if he ends up active against the Texans on Sunday. RB Rex Burkhead (knee), meanwhile, isn't listed on the injury report and will serve as New England's lead back in the opener.

Browns HC Hue Jackson said Monday that WR Antonio Callaway will start this weekend's opener against the Steelers. That'd be alongside WR Jarvis Landry and instead of WR Josh Gordon. Of course, who starts is far less important than who plays the most snaps. And we'd still bet on Gordon playing the 2nd most snaps among Browns WRs. But he won't be a full-go after essentially missing all of August. Gordon will be a risk/reward WR3 in Week 1 fantasy lineups.

Patriots DE Trey Flowers didn't appear in a single preseason game and put in limited work throughout training-camp practices because of an undisclosed injury. But MassLive's Andrew Callahan reports that Flowers is expected to play in Week 1. "Yeah, man. That's the plan," Flowers said Sunday. "I play football, so it's time for football to be played." IDP owners should plan to use Flowers against the Texans. We'll adjust expectations beyond that if we see his playing time limited.

The Patriots are placing rookie WR Braxton Berrios on IR, meaning he's out for the season, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The most recent reports on Berrios indicated no serious injury, so this just looks like a way to stash a guy who wasn't headed for a meaningful 2018 role. The fact that New England doesn't want to cut Berrios loose, however, makes him worth considering as a dynasty stash.

Browns WR Josh Gordon (hamstring) will practice on Monday, HC Hue Jackson said. Gordon has been sidelined for the past week with hamstring tightness. He'll be "a little more than limited" when he returns on Monday, according to Jackson. It sounds like Gordon still isn't a lock to play against the Steelers in Week 1. And if he does, it'll be with precious few reps with QB Tyrod Taylor.

The Texans have released TE Stephen Anderson. The undersized pass-catching TE has struggled with drops over his first 2 NFL seasons. Ryan Griffin will open the year as Houston's lead TE, with rookie Jordan Akins backing him up.

Patriots RB Sony Michel (knee) returned to practice this week but remains limited. “He’s progressing pretty well,” RBs coach Ivan Fears said. “He’s still under doctors’ care — they haven’t totally freed him up for us to do everything with him, so we’re doing everything we possibly can to keep him up to date. Anything we can do, walkthrough-wise, that’s not going to be a problem ... We’re keeping him up to date, but until he’s totally turned loose, he’s still limited right now.” Michel's Week 1 availability "remains unknown," according to the Boston Herald's Kevin Duffy. We won't be able to trust the rookie in early-season fantasy lineups, but there's still intriguing upside here. Michel is worth a look if he gets into the 7th or 8th round of drafts.

Patriots RB Sony Michel (knee) returned to practice on Monday, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss. It's unclear how much work the rookie got in, but this is at least a step in the right direction. Michel has been sidelined since early August after having a procedure to drain fluid from his knee. Missing so much time figures to leave him with a limited role early in the season -- but he's capable of quickly carving out a significant workload in 1 of the league's most productive backfields. Michel's current ADP sitting in the mid-8th round. He's a risk/reward pick there.

Browns WR Josh Gordon did take part in Saturday morning's walkthrough after being reinstated, but he sat out afternoon work "largely because of tightness in his hamstring that occurred while conditioning at the Browns' facility over the past week," according to Cleveland.com. Just another thing to watch with Gordon over the coming 2 weeks.

Updating a previous item, the Browns have activated WR Josh Gordon from the non-football injury list, and he's cleared to participate in any team activities -- including full practices and games. We'll see if he can make it into real action before the regular season begins, but know that drafting Gordon likely won't give you a Week 1 starting option in fantasy -- at least not a guy you can count on.

Update: Gordon tweaked his hamstring shortly after returning to the team. Any extra missed time only adds risk to an already volatile fantasy pick.

Browns WR Josh Gordon has been cleared to participate in walkthroughs, HC Hue Jackson said Friday. "Josh Gordon will be at practice every day, but you are asking if he will be practicing. Probably - again he is into the second phase of where I want him to be,'' said Jackson. "He'll definitely be involved in walk-throughs now. How much he does will be in proportion of what I see and where he is." Jackson added that he'd be open to playing Gordon in the preseason finale, presuming he's allowed. This situation remains murky -- and we're just about 2 weeks away from the start of the season. Gordon remains an extremely risky pick at his late-4th-round ADP.

Patriots RB Sony Michel remains sidelined after having fluid drained from his knee in early August. He's now missed 10 straight practices and 2 preseason games, with his last on-field work coming on August 1. Michel's availability for Week 1 remains uncertain, and it's tough to see the rookie playing a significant early-season role after missing so much time. We'll continue to monitor his progress. Michel's ADP over the last week is sitting in the mid-6th round.

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (knee) returned to practice on Sunday. He ended up missing a couple of weeks -- plus the first 2 preseason games -- with what insider Jeff Howe reported is a "slight tear" in his knee. We'll be keeping a close eye on Burkhead over the next few weeks. If healthy, he should open the season as New England's lead ball-carrier. RB Sony Michel remains sidelined with his knee issue.

 
 
 

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