Shark Bites

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.

Browns HC Hue Jackson said there's "a chance" WR Josh Gordon plays in the opener against the Steelers. "Obviously, we're just going to take it one step at a time," Jackson added. "His focus is going to be on meetings and conditioning, and then we'll just kind of go from there. Hopefully, we can get him up and running by the first game." Gordon rejoined the team on Saturday but isn't yet allowed to practice -- and there's "no timetable" for when that will chance, according to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. Throw in a new QB and a new offense, and there are still at least a few hurdles to clear before Gordon is a fantasy factor again.

Browns WR Josh Gordon tweeted Saturday just after noon that he's ready to "humbly return to being a member" of the Browns. The announcement comes a day after Cleveland's 2nd preseason game against the Bills. We have to assume he'll rejoin the team for practice in the coming week. We'll see if Gordon's ready to play in the "dress rehearsal" 3rd exhibition Thursday against Philadelphia. We'll also have to see what his extended absence means for his depth-chart standing. Of course, Gordon's return is obviously good news for both the Browns offense and the fantasy outlook for 1 of the league's most physically gifted receivers. His ADP has remained a bit high for our tastes, but Gordon's draft-day evaluation comes down more to where (if at any point) you feel comfy taking the risk.

Update: According to NFL PR guy Brian McCarthy, Gordon is allowed to attend practices and meetings but cannot yet participate in practice. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that Gordon is still in the league's "jointly negotiated substance abuse program." Gordon remains a risky pick in fantasy football drafts.

The Athletic's Jeff Howe reports that Patriots RB Rex Burkhead has a "slight tear" in his knee. "But it’s been deemed a minor injury and something he’ll be able to play through," Howe adds. This remains a murky situation (as usual with the Patriots), and no other media members have reported on Burkhead's injury as of Friday morning. We'll continue to look for updates, but Burkhead obviously comes with plenty of risk in drafts right now. It's completely unclear what's torn in his knee, how effective he'll be playing through it and how long it'll hold up. New England, of course, is still without rookie RB Sony Michel, who had fluid drained from his knee a couple of weeks ago. That leaves Jeremy Hill and Mike Gillislee as the healthy early-down backs. Both guys saw time with the 1st-team offense in Thursday night's preseason game, but Hill again out-performed Gillislee. The former Bengal is averaging 4.8 yards per carry through 2 exhibitions vs. Gillislee's 2.8. Hill is looking more and more intriguing as a late-round flier by the day.

Patriots QB Tom Brady played the entire 1st half of Thursday night's preseason game against the Eagles. He finished 19 of 26 for 172 yards and 2 TDs -- 1 to WR Chris Hogan and 1 to RB James White. Brady had been limited in training camp with a back issue but looked no worse for wear in this one. He remains 1 of the top QBs in fantasy football -- and worth a look if he gets into the 7th round of fantasy drafts.

 
 
 

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