Brandon Marshall hip recovery update; Jags inexplicably sticking with Blaine Gabbert, and more

by KFFL Staff on August 28, 2013 @ 09:12:29 PDT



QB | Robert Griffin III | Washington Redskins | Injury, Fantasy
Updating an earlier report, Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (knee) needs clearance from Dr. James Andrews to play in Week 1. That's expected to come Thursday, Aug. 29.

QB | Geno Smith | New York Jets | Injury, Fantasy
New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan refused to say if QB Geno Smith (ankle) will be available to play in the team's preseason finale against the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday, Aug. 29.

QB | Graham Harrell | New York Jets | Transaction, Free Agents, Fantasy
The New York Jets agreed to terms with free-agent QB Graham Harrell (Packers) Tuesday, Aug. 27, according to a source. Harrell is expected to report to the team Wednesday, Aug. 28.

QB | Blaine Gabbert | Jacksonville Jaguars | Injury, Fantasy
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert (thumb) said Tuesday, Aug. 27, that he is "still on schedule" to play in the regular season opener Sept. 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. He hasn't practiced or gripped a football since Aug. 17, and he will have to play with pain if he is to start in Week 1. The team has targeted Wednesday, Sept. 4, as the return date for Gabbert.

Even if Gabbert is able to play, he is best left to the waiver wire in most standard re-draft fantasy formats. He is only worth a look as in deeper leagues which require two starting signal callers.

QB | EJ Manuel | Buffalo Bills | Injury, Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday, Aug. 27, that rookie QB EJ Manuel (knee) needs to be cleared to practice by Wednesday, Sept. 4, if he is to play in the regular season opener Sept. 8 against the New England Patriots. Even then, Manuel would need to pass an evaluation. QB Jeff Tuel legitimately has a chance to open the season as the starter.

If Tuel is tabbed to start in Week 1, his fantasy value would be limited to formats which require two starters at the quarterback position. Even then, he would only be worth a roster spot in leagues of 12 or more teams.

Running Back

RB | Le'Veon Bell | Pittsburgh Steelers | Injury, Fantasy
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell (foot) is no longer wearing a walking boot. His status remains unknown.

This is certainly good news, and we're cautiously optimistic it might improve his timetable. Maybe he can make it back by Week 4.

RB | DeAngelo Williams | Carolina Panthers | Fantasy
Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams is expected to receive the bulk of the work among the running back to start the season.

It's fair to wonder what the 30-year-old has left in the tank. He's an adequate RB3, but he really needs to produce to avoid the aging running back purgatory on the market.

RB | Chris Ogbonnaya | Cleveland Browns | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Cleveland Browns RB Chris Ogbonnaya showed an ability to block for RB Trent Richardson as the fullback during training camp and the preseason, as well as play tailback. Ogbonnaya's versatility made FB Owen Marecic, who was cut Tuesday, Aug. 27, expendable.

RB | Brandon Jackson | Cleveland Browns | Injury, Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Cleveland Browns RB Brandon Jackson is now the team's primary backup to RB Trent Richardson after the loss of both RBs Montario Hardesty (knee) and Dion Lewis (fibula) to the season-ending Injured Reserve list. "Brandon is a reliable guy," head coach Rob Chudzinski said Tuesday, Aug. 27. "I have no issues with Brandon. Trent will be the guy we're counting on in a lot of different ways. We have to do a good job of keeping him fresh throughout the course of the season."

RB | Mike Goodson | New York Jets | Fantasy
New York Jets RB Mike Goodson (personal) said Tuesday, Aug. 27, that he has resolved "some personal stuff," and he will work his way back into playing shape during his upcoming four-game suspension. Goodson did not say whether he received counseling for substance abuse during his personal absence, but it is believed that is where he went during his time away from the team.

For fantasy purposes, there is no reason to bother with Goodson for a while. Even when he comes back, he will be behind at least Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory in the pecking order for carries, unless injuries occur.

RB | Ronnie Hillman | Denver Broncos | Fantasy
Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman was running with the first team in practice Tuesday, Aug. 27. Head coach John Fox said not to read into RB Montee Ball taking first-team reps Monday, Aug. 26, even though he also took some turns with the starters Tuesday. Ball's starter work Monday might have had something to do with Hillman's preseason fumbling issues. The Broncos had Hillman carrying a football between reps the last few days.

Denver is trying to condition Hillman into an every-down mentality with their focus on him protecting the ball. This remains a messy fantasy backfield; none of these options opens the season as anything more than a flex play. Even Knowshon Moreno would be a decent speculation for your bench. All things equal, Ball presents the best makeup to take over eventually, but the path there could take a long time.

RB | Jonathan Stewart | Carolina Panthers | Injury, Fantasy
Updating a previous report, the Carolina Panthers are hoping Jonathan Stewart (ankle) will be ready to return by Week 7.

RB | DuJuan Harris | Green Bay Packers | Injury, Fantasy
Green Bay Packers RB DuJuan Harris (knee) has been placed on Injured Reserve and will miss the 2013 season after a negative second opinion on his knee.

Eddie Lacy is expected to step in to start and becomes a low-end RB2 with more realistic RB3 expectations. His value makes sense in Round 5 or so in your average setup. Fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin had a tough camp but now gets a chance to showcase his natural shiftiness as a fantasy flyer.

RB | Isaac Redman | Pittsburgh Steelers | Injury, Fantasy
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Isaac Redman is expected to start while RB Le'Veon Bell (foot) recovers from his foot injury. RBs Jonathan Dwyer and LaRod Stephens-Howling will serve as the backups.

Redman has some low-end RB2 or flex fantasy appeal if he does indeed start in Week 1 against the Tennessee Titans, who ranked dead-last in the NFL against the rush last season by allowing 178.0 yards per game.

Wide Receiver

WR | Darrius Heyward-Bey | Indianapolis Colts | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
The Indianapolis Colts have kept WR Darrius Heyward-Bey as a starter over speedy WR T.Y. Hilton, and the teams cites Heyward-Bey's blocking skills in the run game as a major factor.

Still, while Hilton is expected to be on the field in passing-only situations, he still has bigger play ability. Plus, this isn't engraved in stone, and could change as the season progresses. However, initially, Hilton might get off to a little bit of a slow start. As far as Heyward-Bey, he should still be nothing more than a WR3/4 or flex option with little upside.

WR | Cole Beasley | Dallas Cowboys | Injury, Fantasy
Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley (knee) returned to the practice field this week. It's uncertain how much he'll play, if any, in the preseason finale Thursday, Aug. 29, against the Houston Texans.

WR | Dez Bryant | Dallas Cowboys | Fantasy
Dallas Cowboys WRs Dez Bryant and Miles Austin are unlikely to play in the preseason finale Thursday, Aug. 29, against the Houston Texans.

WR | Mike Sims-Walker | CFL | Transaction, Free Agents, Fantasy
Free-agent WR Mike Sims-Walker (Rams) agreed to terms Tuesday, Aug. 27, with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.

WR | Brandon Marshall | Chicago Bears | Injury, Fantasy
Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall (hip) said Tuesday, Aug. 27, that he is still isn't feeling comfortable seven months after hip surgery. "It's one of those things where I'm just trying to get healthy for Week 1," Marshall said. "So you've got to have a game plan coming off surgery, a third hip surgery. So yeah, I'm not where I want to be right now. It's a little frustrating. But we'll see."

This isn't the kind of thing fantasy owners want to necessarily hear less than two weeks before the regular season. However, it doesn't sound serious enough to keep Marshall from missing time, but he could be nagged by minor pain during the season. And since he has had three hip surgeries, it is always an area of concern.

WR | Victor Cruz | New York Giants | Injury, Fantasy
New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (heel) said Tuesday, Aug. 27, that he will "potentially" practice Monday, Sept. 2, and "absolutely" plans to be ready for the regular season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

WR | Santonio Holmes | New York Jets | Injury, Fantasy
New York Jets WR Santonio Holmes (foot) is back on the active roster, but he said Tuesday, Aug. 27, that he is not 100 percent, and did not offer any indication as to whether he will be available for the regular season opener Sept. 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "I have a long career ahead of me, so I'm going to take the best risk and the best chances for myself and for the team," Holmes said. He participated in practice on a limited basis Tuesday, and has only cut and run routes prior to the preseason game against the New York Giants, and no other times since his return.

Fantasy owners should wait to see Holmes participate in at least one or two regular season games, keeping an eye on whether or not he has any restrictions, before pushing forward and using him in the active lineup. He might be best treated as a WR4 or flex fantasy option in leagues of 12 or more teams even then.

WR | Josh Gordon | Cleveland Browns | Fantasy
Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski said Tuesday, Aug. 27, that WR Josh Gordon will play in the preseason finale Thursday, Aug. 29, against the Chicago Bears.

WR | Davone Bess | Cleveland Browns | Injury, Fantasy
Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns WR Davone Bess (knee) is dealing with tendinitis in his knee, which was the reason he was missing from practice Tuesday, Aug. 27.

WR | Percy Harvin | Seattle Seahawks | Injury, Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Seattle Seahawks WR Percy Harvin (hip) was placed on the Physically Unable To Perform List Tuesday, Aug. 27.

No surprise here, but a formality to get the team to the roster limit. Harvin is not close to returning and does not have a lot of value at the moment.

WR | DeAndre Hopkins | Houston Texans | Injury, Fantasy
Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (concussion) has been completely cleared to return to practice. There is a good chance Hopkins will play in the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 29.

WR | Kenny Britt | Tennessee Titans | Injury, Fantasy
Tennessee Titans WR Kenny Britt (knee) will not play in the team's final preseason game, according to head coach Mike Munchek.

WR | Tavarres King | Denver Broncos | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Denver Broncos WR Tavarres King continues to see work with the second-team offense, but he is expected to start the regular season as the team's No. 5 wide receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker and Andre Caldwell.

As such, King has very little short-term fantasy appeal. However, he could emerge as a legitimate fantasy weapon as the season progresses, especially if injuries fell the others.

WR | Lamaar Thomas | Denver Broncos | Transaction, Fantasy
Denver Broncos WR Lamaar Thomas has worked with the second-team offense at times during practice during training camp and the preseason, and he has show the ability to be where the quarterbacks expect him to be. However, the receiver position is crowded, and he could be ticketed for the practice squad to start the season.

Tight End

TE | Brent Celek | Philadelphia Eagles | Fantasy
The Philadelphia Eagles have run 225 plays in their first three preseason games, which is an average of 75 per game. That is more than any team in the league. TE Brent Celek has seven catches thus far, which is the most he has had in the preseason since 2007. In head coach Chip Kelly's offense, tight ends are seldom asked to pass protect. He figures to be a big cog in the offense.

Celek has had some health issues over the years, but if the O-line can protect Michael Vick, Celek could be a nice TE2 sleeper.

TE | Heath Miller | Pittsburgh Steelers | Injury, Fantasy
The Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to remove TE Heath Miller (knee) from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list when the team finalizes its 53-man roster prior to the start of the regular season.

Miller hasn't even been drafted as a Top 20 fantasy option at his position according to the average draft position (ADP) rankings. However, he always seems to find his way onto fantasy rosters at some point because of his rapport with QB Ben Roethlisberger in the red zone.

TE | Lance Kendricks | St. Louis Rams | Injury, Fantasy
St. Louis Rams TE Lance Kendricks (knee) took part in a full practice session Monday, Aug. 26, and he participated in his first 11-on-11 drills since offseason knee surgery. "I feel really good out there," Kendricks said. "Just trying to knock the rust off and trying to get back to playing shape." He won't play in the preseason finale Aug. 29 against the Baltimore Ravens, but said he expects to be a "go" for the regular season opener Sept. 8 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Kendricks is a little behind because of the time he has missed, the offseason addition of Jared Cook killed his fantasy value. Leave him to the waiver wire, but remember his name in case Cook goes down with some sort of long-term injury.

Place Kicker

PK | Nick Folk | New York Jets | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
New York Jets PK Nick Folk no longer has to contend with PK Billy Cundiff, who has since been released. However, Folk will now have to hold off veteran PK Dan Carpenter before the team's final roster cut Saturday, Aug. 31.

Folk isn't even being drafted as a Top 25 fantasy option according to the average draft position (ADP) rankings. The winner of this job will have very little fantasy value unless the Jets suddenly morph into an offensive juggernaut. Unlikely.

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