Trent Richardson sheds pounds to increase speed; Denver's RB situation still cloudy with a chance of committee

by KFFL Staff on August 27, 2013 @ 11:25:32 PDT



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.

QB | Robert Griffin III | Washington Redskins | Injury, Fantasy
Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (knee) still needs to be cleared by Dr. James Andrews Thursday, Aug. 29, and then by head coach Mike Shanahan, before he gets the green light for the regular season opener Sept. 9 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

QB | Kirk Cousins | Washington Redskins | Injury, Fantasy
Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins (foot) said Monday, Aug. 26, that there is "no doubt at all" that he will be ready for the regular season opener Sept. 9 against the Philadelphia Eagles. He was able to practice Monday, but said he isn't quite 100 percent when it comes to rolling out or quick changes of direction. Cousins has been getting three or four treatments per day.

There is still uncertainty if Robert Griffin III (foot) will be ready to go, so Cousins could conceivably be called upon to start in Week 1. He wouldn't be worth using in standard formats, but certainly is worth keeping an eye on in leagues which require two starting signal callers and for those owners of Griffin who want an insurance policy.

QB | Geno Smith | New York Jets | Injury, Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
The battle for the starting quarterback job for the New York Jets is technically still open between QB Mark Sanchez (shoulder) and QB Geno Smith, but that might only be because Sanchez is banged up and uncertain for Week 1. Smith was terrible in the team's last preseason game, and it is believed if Smith were the clear-cut choice by Ryan to start, it would have been announced already.

Running Back

RB | Jonathan Stewart | Carolina Panthers | Injury, Fantasy
Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle) will start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, according to sources.

J-Stew would miss the first six games but still could fly as a bench grab in the middle to late rounds. DeAngelo Williams becomes a legitimate RB3 with some weeks as an RB2. Rookie speedster Kenjon Barner (foot) also gains cred as an RB5 speculation, but we'll have to see how he responds to his recent foot injury. Mike Tolbert could siphon a touchdown or two in the time J-Stew is out and could be a last-ditch pick, as well. Remember, though: The entire backfield's TD upside is restricted by Cam Newton's feet.

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.

RB | Trent Richardson | Cleveland Browns | Fantasy
Cleveland Browns RB Trent Richardson said he played at 236-237 pounds last season because he wasn't able to run. He plans to play at 225 pounds this year.

He has been reportedly faster this season. This can only be a good thing in what could be a big year.

RB | Bryce Brown | Philadelphia Eagles | Injury, Fantasy
Philadelphia Eagles RB Bryce Brown (ankle) is expected to practice Tuesday, Aug. 27.

RB | Arian Foster | Houston Texans | Fantasy
Houston Texans RB Arian Foster won't play in the final preseason game this week.

RB | Ronnie Hillman | Denver Broncos | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Denver Broncos coach John Fox told reporters he had not lost faith in RB Ronnie Hillman despite his tendency to cough up the ball. Hillman had two fumbles returned for touchdowns in preseason games. Still, RB Montee Ball took more snaps with the No. 1 squad Monday, Aug. 26, and Fox cautioned not to read anything. "It's just practice," Fox said. "I wouldn't read too much into anything. We're evaluating everybody regardless of who gets what reps at what numbers. He's a guy that we want to get touches and we'll go from there."

RB | Darren McFadden | Oakland Raiders | Injury, Fantasy
Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said that RB Darren McFadden (shoulder) will "absolutely" be ready for Week 1 of the season. It is not known if he will play in the final preseason game.

It sounds like McFadden will be ready to go for the start of the regular season, but with his history, the big question as always will be if he can stay healthy moving forward.

RB | Dion Lewis | Cleveland Browns | Injury, Transaction, Fantasy
The Cleveland Browns have placed RB Dion Lewis (leg) on Injured Reserve, ending his 2013 season.

Wide Receiver

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.

WR | Andre Roberts | Arizona Cardinals | Injury, Fantasy
Arizona Cardinals WR Andre Roberts (quadriceps) was able to return to the practice field Monday, Aug. 26.

WR | Jordy Nelson | Green Bay Packers | Injury, Fantasy
Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (knee) worked on the offensive scout team with QB Aaron Rodgers in practice Monday, Aug. 26, and hauled in an 85-yard touchdown pass. He reportedly looks unencumbered while running, and Rodgers said Nelson is a "fast healer."

Nelson is looking like a good bet to be ready for the regular season opener against the San Francisco 49ers, but fantasy owners should still have alternate plans at the ready just in case he suffers a setback between now and then.

WR | Danny Amendola | New England Patriots | Injury, Fantasy
New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola (undisclosed) proclaimed himself healthy after practicing Monday, Aug. 26. "It felt great, just getting the work done and getting ready for the Giants this week and Week 1 next week," said Amendola. "Looking forward to it."

It's good news that Amendola is declaring himself fully healthy. The challenge for Amendola will be staying healthy, and off the injury report, something he has struggled with recently.

WR | Calvin Johnson | Detroit Lions | Injury, Fantasy
Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (knee) is not participating in practice due to knee soreness.

Still nothing to be too concerned with here, as it appears the team is just being overly cautious with their top wide out, though fantasy owners would feel much better if Johnson got on the practice field with the season quickly approaching.

WR | Santonio Holmes | New York Jets | Injury, Fantasy
New York Jets WR Santonio Holmes (foot) participated in practice Monday, Aug. 26.

WR | Malcom Floyd | San Diego Chargers | Injury, Fantasy
San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said WR Malcom Floyd (knee) participated in individual drills and a few team drills during practice Monday, Aug. 26. McCoy said Floyd should be ready for the start of the regular season.

Floyd likely will be the team's No. 1 wide receiver this season and should be have an important role in the passing game. Floyd should be seen as a No. 3 or No. 4 fantasy wide receiver this season.

WR | Miles Austin | Dallas Cowboys | Fantasy
Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said he believes WR Miles Austin is looking quicker than he has the last few preseasons because he has stayed healthy. "He looks fresher," Garrett said. "He looks quicker to me. And he's a hard matchup player for people because he's big. He can play outside, but he also has quickness to play inside and sometimes you're playing against a smaller nickel guy. He's a bigger guy than that and maybe equally as quick so sometimes it's hard to cover someone of that inside stuff."

Austin appears to be entering the season without any hamstring issues and should have an important role in the passing game. He should be considered a No. 3 wide receiver in fantasy leagues.

WR | Andrew Hawkins | Cincinnati Bengals | Injury, Fantasy
Cincinnati Bengals WR Andrew Hawkins (ankle) is not wearing a boot or cast on his injured ankle and believes he is ahead of schedule. Hawkins is still a candidate for the Injured Reserve/Designated to Return list.

WR | Braylon Edwards | Free Agent | Transaction, Fantasy
The New York Jets have released WR Braylon Edwards.

WR | Victor Cruz | New York Giants | Injury, Fantasy
New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (heel) was walking around without wearing a walking boot at the team's facility Monday, Aug. 26.

It appears Cruz is making progress in his recovery from a heel injury and should be ready for the start of the season. Owners should view Cruz as a low-end No. 1 or strong No. 2 wide receiver this season.

Tight End

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.

TE | Rob Housler | Arizona Cardinals | Injury, Fantasy
Arizona Cardinals TE Rob Housler (ankle) is expected to be questionable for the regular season opener Sept. 8 against the St. Louis Rams after suffering a high ankle sprain in the team's preseason game against the San Diego Chargers. Housler was optimistic about his prospects for Week 1, but he needs to show progress over the next week.

TE | Jordan Cameron | Cleveland Browns | Injury, Fantasy
Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (groin) won't practice Tuesday, Aug. 27, but the team isn't overly worried.

TE | Joel Dreessen | Denver Broncos | Injury, Fantasy
Denver Broncos TE Joel Dreessen (knee) did not practice Monday, Aug. 26, due to his knee injury. However, he continues to work toward playing in the regular season opener Thursday, Sept. 5, against the Baltimore Ravens.

TE | Brandon Bostick | Green Bay Packers | Fantasy
Green Bay Packers TE Brandon Bostick dropped a wide-open pass in the end zone from QB Aaron Rodgers on the final play of practice Monday, Aug. 26.

TE | Tony Moeaki | Kansas City Chiefs | Injury, Fantasy
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said TE Tony Moeaki (shoulder) suffered a fractured shoulder in the team's preseason game Saturday, Aug. 24. There is no timetable for his return because he is still undergoing tests.

It appears like Moeaki will be out for an extended period of time, which likely will give Anthony Fasano more playing time as well as more fantasy value. Fasano should be considered a No. 2 tight end this season but could be a starter against certain matchups.

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.

PK | Jay Feely | Arizona Cardinals | Transaction, Fantasy
Arizona Cardinals PK Jay Feely got the last laugh this time, holding off a brief challenge from PK Dan Carpenter, who has since been released. Feely was beaten out by Carpenter in Aug. 2008 when both were fighting for a job with the Miami Dolphins.

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