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Denver's backfield situation just became more frustrating

By KFFL Staff


QB | Geno Smith | New York Jets | Injury, Fantasy
New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez (shoulder) rode a stationary bike during practice Monday, Sept. 2, while dealing with a bruised joint in his right shoulder. Sanchez isn't expected to be ready for the season opener in Week 1. QB Geno Smith is the clear choice to start that game, even after the team signed QB Brady Quinn.

Smith has intrigue as a quarterback that can make things happen with his legs on the ground, but he shouldn't be relied on as anything more than a QB3 with upside. The lack of reliable receiving options in New York will be a big problem.

QB | Blaine Gabbert | Jacksonville Jaguars | Injury, Fantasy
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert (thumb) appears on track to start against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1. He hasn't practiced since suffering a hairline fracture in his right thumb in the team's third preseason game Aug. 24. Gabbert took snaps under center and in shotgun but didn't throw Monday, Sept. 2, and he was wearing a small wrap on his hand.

Gabbert should be fine for Week 1, but the lack of practice reps heading into the game is a concern. Gabbert is a weak QB2 in fantasy circles anyway and shouldn't be relied on to kick off fantasy play.

QB | Terrelle Pryor | Oakland Raiders | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Oakland Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor will be the starting quarterback in the team's Week 1 game.

Even with Pryor winning the job, he is only worth adding to your roster if you need a short-term fill in, otherwise don't expect much here.

QB | Robert Griffin III | Washington Redskins | Injury, Fantasy
Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said QB Robert Griffin III (knee) will start Week 1.

Griffin is coming back from several torn ligaments in his knee, so he may show some rust during the game. Griffin should be a solid starting option Week 1 against Philadelphia.

Running Back

RB | Montee Ball | Denver Broncos | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
The Denver Broncos plan to use a running back by committee on a drive-by-drive basis, not play-by-play. In other words, RBs Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman and Knowshon Moreno could see plenty of touches, or few. The team will run an up-tempo offense, and if the team stays on the field, so will the running back. If there is a stalled or short drive, the running back might chance on the next drive.

It sounds like a maddening situation for fantasy owners. Most talking heads figure Ball will emerge as the most useful of the fantasy backs once the dust clears, but it is murky at best, and will give fantasy owners headaches during the early going.

RB | Lamar Miller | Miami Dolphins | Fantasy
Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller is listed as the starting running back for the team's Week 1 game.

RB | Rashard Mendenhall | Arizona Cardinals | Injury, Fantasy
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said RB Rashard Mendenhall (knee) will be fine despite missing practice Monday, Sept. 2.

RB | Le'Veon Bell | Pittsburgh Steelers | Injury, Fantasy
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell (foot) said he is targeting Week 2 for his return but will not come back until he is fully healthy.

Bell was expecting to miss several weeks, so a Week 2 return is probably a bit optimistic for him. When he does return, he likely will be a low-end No. 2 or No. 3 fantasy running back most weeks.

RB | LaRod Stephens-Howling | Pittsburgh Steelers | Injury, Fantasy
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Isaac Redman said he expects to start while RB Le'Veon Bell (foot) is out of the lineup. Redman said the coaches do not want to use a committee at running back, and he does not want to give them a reason to use a committee.

If Redman does get the start, he will still have to share some carries with Felix Jones and LaRod Stephens-Howling. Redman probably would be a flex option if he is the team's starting running back.

RB | Ahmad Bradshaw | Indianapolis Colts | Injury, Fantasy
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) will be able to play Week 1.

Bradshaw likely will be a No. 2 running back or a flex option in most fantasy leagues in Week 1.

Wide Receiver

WR | Brandon Marshall | Chicago Bears | Injury, Fantasy
Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall (hip) said his surgically repaired hip is structurally sound. "I'm always concerned about my body," Marshall said. "It doesn't matter if it's a little scratch; I'm always concerned. So coming off my third hip surgery, structurally, everything is good. The joint is in amazing shape. So that's exciting."

Good news for Marshall. If he can stay healthy, he is one of the top fantasy football wide receivers in all formats.

WR | Sidney Rice | Seattle Seahawks | Injury, Fantasy
Seattle Seahawks WR Sidney Rice (knee) is expected to practice Wednesday, Sept. 2.

WR | Wes Welker | Denver Broncos | Injury, Fantasy
Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (ankle) fully participated in practice Monday, Sept. 2.

WR | Santonio Holmes | New York Jets | Injury, Fantasy
New York Jets WR Santonio Holmes (foot) was participating during practice Monday, Sept. 2.

WR | Victor Cruz | New York Giants | Injury, Fantasy
New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (heel) participated in practice Monday, Sept. 2, and appears to be on track to play Week 1. Cruz said he was worried about running hard-breaking routes but said his heel felt fine while running the routes.

Cruz looks like he will be able to play Week 1, but owners should monitor his practice time this week in case of a setback. Cruz should start in all fantasy leagues Week 1 if he is able to play.

Tight End

TE | Rob Gronkowski | New England Patriots | Injury, Fantasy
New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (forearm, back) continues to be listed as day-to-day, and the team has no firm timetable on when he might return to action. "There is no straight-line formula for that. We take it day to day," head coach Bill Belichick said. "I don't know any other way to do it. We don't know how he's going to be feeling in two days. Or any other player. It's not about him, it's about any player that's coming back from injury. That's how we do it. Nobody has a crystal ball." Belichick refused to say whether Gronkowski will play in Week 1, and he's not expected to play in the team's Week 2 game, either.

It's great news that Gronk won't land on the PUP list, but there's still a chance he misses at least several weeks to open the season. If you drafted him, hopefully you made plans to snag a solid backup option.

TE | Rob Housler | Arizona Cardinals | Injury, Fantasy
Arizona Cardinals TE Rob Housler (ankle) did not participate in practice Monday, Sept. 2, and is considered day-to-day.

TE | Dwayne Allen | Indianapolis Colts | Injury, Fantasy
Indianapolis Colts TEs Coby Fleener (knee) and Dwayne Allen (foot) participated in practice Monday, Sept. 2.

Place Kicker

PK | Dan Carpenter | Buffalo Bills | Transaction, Fantasy
Updating a previous report, the Buffalo Bills signed PK Dan Carpenter (Dolphins) Monday, Sept. 2. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PK | Dustin Hopkins | Buffalo Bills | Injury, Fantasy
Buffalo Bills PK Dustin Hopkins (groin) suffered a groin injury in practice Monday, Sept. 2.


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