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Vikings | Two battling at safety position

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:18:28 -0700

Minnesota Vikings safeties Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo will be battling during training camp and the preseason for the starting job opposite FS Harrison Smith. "That will be interesting, just to see where they are at and where they compare to others guys," head coach Mike Zimmer said.

Vikings | Christian Ponder has done well

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:17:34 -0700

Minnesota Vikings QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel saw a majority of the snaps during spring workouts, but QB Christian Ponder has a chance to start, and head coach Mike Zimmer claims it will be a fair competition. "Actually, I think Christian has done a very good job in the time that we've had him and how much he has improved in that amount of time," Zimmer said. "We're going to give everyone a fair shot, and preseason games will help determine it. We want someone who is going to take care of the football, lead the team in the right direction and when called upon be able to win football games."

Vikings | Chad Greenway could start at MLB

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:17:07 -0700

Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway could be used as the starting middle linebacker, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. "It's a possibility. We keep working him in there. We're just trying to figure out the best 11 players we can and then figure out where the rest of the guys are going to fit," Zimmer said. "It's not out of the question, but time will tell a little bit more on that."

Vikings | Will try not to overload Anthony Barr

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:16:36 -0700

Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr was with the team for just a few days during offseason workouts due to NFL rules. Head coach Mike Zimmer is eager to see what he can do, but the team does not want to throw too much at him. "Yeah, obviously a lot because we only had him for four or five days. So that part, how much can (he) progress within the system, how much he can handle without us overloading him mentally?," Zimmer said.

Vikings | Sharrif Floyd needs to relax

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:15:58 -0700

Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd had a good offseason, but head coach Mike Zimmer thinks the defensive tackle is trying to be too fine. "Sharrif has a lot of ability. Right now, he's trying so hard to be perfect on every single snap," Zimmer said. "He just needs to relax and let it free-flow a little bit more."

Vikings | Cordarrelle Patterson to remain on kickoffs

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:14:58 -0700

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson will remain on kickoff returns despite an expanded role in the offense this season. "We want our best players to get their hands on the ball as much as possible. We're not going to keep him from returning kicks because he is such a dangerous weapon there," head coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday, July 23. "He's been a very hard worker, he has improved his route running since we've been here and things are going to change for these guys in training camp when we are able to start playing bump-and-run."

FANTASY TIP: Fantasy owners are never thrilled to see their receiver used on kickoff returns, especially if they're in a format which does not reward individual return yardage. There is a risk of injury with no reward. However, don't shy away from Patterson despite the risk, as he is a player with a ton of offensive upside. Use a pick in the neighborhood of Rounds 4 though 6 on Patterson and you will not be sorry.

Lions | Montell Owens facing roster battle

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:14:30 -0700

Detroit Lions FB Montell Owens has company, as the team will employ a more traditional fullback in the offense. They signed FB Jed Collins for the role. Owens is more of a hybrid player who excels on special teams. He likely needs to set himself apart in that role or risk not making the final roster, as he doesn't fit the traditional blocking fullback role like Collins.

Tigers | Joakim Soria acquired

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:02:55 -0700

The Texas Rangers traded RP Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers Wednesday, July 23, according to a source. The Rangers will get RP Corey Knebel, and minor-league P Jake Thompson. The deal is pending physicals.

FANTASY TIP: The bullpen in Detroit has been a dumpster fire this season, and the team would likely be well ahead in the Central Division race if not for its shortcomings. It's uncertain yet whether Soria will step into closer duties in Motown, but fantasy owners of Joe Nathan have to dislike this deal tremendously. Nathan has struggled with plenty of blown saves, and it wouldn't be shocking to see Soria step right into ninth-inning duties.

Lions | Jed Collins to be traditional FB

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:20:24 -0700

The Detroit Lions are re-incorporating the traditional fullback into their new offensive scheme this season, and that's why they went out and signed FB Jed Collins.

Lions | Mikel Leshourse expected to compete

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:18:56 -0700

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure is currently believed to be the fourth tailback on the club behind RBs Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick heading into training camp and the preseason, but general manager Martin Mayhew expects Leshoure to compete for snaps. The team will use an offense similar to the New Orleans Saints, and they occasionally used a fourth tailback.

FANTASY TIP: Leshoure has tumbled down the depth chart due to a rash of his own injuries, and the production of others while he was off the field. He appears to be in the plans still, but ever so slightly. From a fantasy perspective, he should be avoided on draft day unless injuries to others dramatically alter things during training camp and the preseason.

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Lions | Theo Riddick might break into rotation

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:18:06 -0700

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick has the chance to break into the rotation at tailback, and he has drawn considerable praise from his teammates and coaches for his development this offseason. If he proves himself in training camp and the preseason, he could potentially fill a Darren Sproles-like role in the offense.

FANTASY TIP: Riddick is a deep sleeper heading into the season. Remember, he had just 13 offensive touches last season, so he is raw. But he could very well win the No. 3 tailback job in Motown, and might have an even bigger role if Reggie Bush or Joique Bell go down ahead of him.

Lions | Joique Bell expects to be ready

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:17:08 -0700

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (nee) missed most of the offseason due to a knee injury, although he has said his condition is minor and he expects to be ready for the start of training camp next week.

FANTASY TIP: Bell gives the team one of the best 1-2 punches in the league with Reggie Bush. The duo became the first teammates in franchise history to join the 500/500 (rushing yards) club in the same season. Bell is a worth a look as a low-end RB2 flex fantasy option in most formats, with slightly more value in leagues which reward points per reception (PPR).

Cardinals | Deone Bucannon excited to compete

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:16:22 -0700

Arizona Cardinals S Deone Bucannon was not dropped into the starting lineup during offseason workouts, as the team has faith in FS Tony Jefferson and FS Rashad Johnson. He is excited to be back at training camp working to show the team what he can do on the field rather than just working out. "It's not really nervousness, it's more anxious," Bucannon said Wednesday, July 23. "You want to show everybody you can play and be a part of this team."

FANTASY TIP: Bucannon might not be at the top of the depth chart right now, but he is still expected to vault into a starting role by the time the regular season begins. For those in fantasy leagues which use individual defensive players (IDPs), take a wait-and-see approach to the rookie. If he starts, he could obviously rack up plenty of statistics.

Cardinals | Troy Niklas participates

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:15:56 -0700

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (hand) has been cleared to participate in training camp, and was working Wednesday, July 23.

Cardinals | Dan Williams opens at top of depth chart

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:15:19 -0700

Arizona Cardinals NT Dan Williams will open training camp as the team's starting nose tackle with NT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list.

Browns | Johnny Manziel needs more dedication

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:14:37 -0700

Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine thinks QB Johnny Manziel needs to increase dedication to earn the starting job. "I think he knows that in order to compete well, he's going to have to probably be more dedicated than ever."

FANTASY TIP: Brian Hoyer is believed to have the leg up in the competition for the starting signal caller job in Cleveland, but it is a wide open competition, too. If Manziel can win the job during training camp and the preseason, he would still be best used as a QB2 only for when your primary fantasy option has a difficult matchup or bye. The loss of WR Josh Gordon for an undetermined period hurts the value of whomever wins the job.

Royals | Eric Hosmer's hitting streak snapped

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:13:58 -0700

Updating a previous report, Kansas City Royals 1B Eric Hosmer (hand) was hitless in two at-bats with a sacrifice fly before departing early due to his hand injury. The hitless game snapped his 16-game hitting streak.

Rays | Yunel Escobar ejected

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:13:16 -0700

Tampa Bay Rays SS Yunel Escobar was ejected Wednesday, July 23, against the St. Louis Cardinals for arguing balls and strikes.

FANTASY TIP: If you were wondering why Escobar left early, at least it wasn't because of another nagging injury.

Phillies | Ryan Howard's future in question

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:12:07 -0700

Philadelphia Phillies 1B Ryan Howard was held out of the lineup Wednesday, July 23, against the San Francisco Giants. Manager Ryne Sandberg suggested the first base spot "will be a day-to-day thing," and that Howard's huge contract will not dictate playing time. "It's about wins and losses out here," Sandberg said. "When the game starts, it's about winning the game and being productive and chipping in and doing the part and doing something to help win a game. If that means playing somebody else there and there's production right away - that's trying to win a baseball game." OF Darin Ruf made the start at first base with a left-handed pitcher on the hill for San Francisco. He played four of his past five games at Triple-A at first base, so the team appears to have been planning an unofficial platoon type situation.

FANTASY TIP: Fantasy owners cannot be pleased with the news, although it's hardly a surprise given Howard's low batting average. Fantasy owners knew what they were getting into before drafting Howard back in the spring. With the team out of contention, using some younger players in the lineup down the stretch wouldn't be surprising, so if you're a Howard owner, especially in daily leagues, picking up Ruf, and perhaps stashing Maikel Franco, is essential.

Orioles | Ubaldo Jimenez makes progress

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:04:31 -0700

Baltimore Orioles SP Ubaldo Jimenez (ankle) threw 35 pitches Wednesday, July 23, and he was able to do some running drills. Jimenez isn't sure what the next step in his recovery will be, but felt Wednesday was a step forward.