Fantasy football news and opinion from FFToday.com
Steelers activate Sammie Coates from the PUP list
Returning from knee surgery
The Steelers activated receiver Sammie Coates from the physically unable to perform list, and he will participate in his first practice of training camp this afternoon at Saint Vincent College. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
FF Today's Take: Sammie Coates will join the battle for Pittsburgh's fourth receiver spot behind Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Eli Rogers. Coates could become valuable depth for the Steelers or another team if he is eventually cut. Needless to say, he has a long road to go before gaining fantasy relevance in 2017.
RB Booker expected back early in regular season
HC Vance Joseph comments on RBBC in Denver
Joseph has said he plans to take a committee approach with his running backs.
“The running back position, you need two or three guys who are going to carry the load,” he said in May. “It’s no longer a one-guy position.”
Anderson is the starter and returned to camp this year in the best shape of his career. And although Booker quickly went down with a wrist injury, he is expected to be back early in the regular season and the team has high hopes for him. Joseph said that while Booker is listed as the No. 2 back on the depth chart, he was pushing to be No. 1 before the injury. That says a lot.
FF Today's Take: Denver's rushing attack is lining up to be a nightmare for fantasy owners to decipher. Knowing that the coaching staff feels C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker (wrist) are that close on the depth chart while reserving a role for Jamaal Charles and possibly rookie De'Angelo Henderson will prevent anyone in Denver's backfield from being more than a RB3/Flex this season.
DeAndre Hopkins doesn't practice Tuesday
O'Brien: "We've got him on a little bit of a pitch count"
DeAndre Hopkins did not practice again on Tuesday. He has not practiced since last Monday, though he did play in the Texans' preseason opener on Wednesday. On Monday, Bill O'Brien said Hopkins is "doing fine." "We've got him on a little bit of a pitch count, so to speak," O'Brien said. (ESPN.com)
FF Today's Take: Typically, teams use a "pitch count" to protect a player coming back from an injury or trying to prevent an injury from getting worse. That being said, HC Bill O'Brien doesn't appear to be too concerned with the situation so DeAndre Hopkins remains a top 20 fantasy receiver entering the year.
Eagles cut Ryan Mathews
RB medically cleared, move saves $4MM against cap
Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) on Twitter: "Source: The #Eagles have informed former starting RB Ryan Mathews, who passed his physical earlier today, that he's been released." (Twitter)
FF Today's Take: Mathews is still a viable back and should latch on somewhere in the near future, but he's off the radar for fantasy at the moment.
Jay Cutler to make Dolphins debut Thursday
Embattled QB scheduled to start versus Ravens
Jay Cutler missed last week's preseason opener after signing a one-year, $10 million contract just a few days prior. Cutler is expected to start against Baltimore after practicing fully all week. His backup is Matt Moore. (ESPN)
FF Today's Take: The Dolphins have some talented offensive players, but Cutler is going to need all the reps he can handle if he's going to resurrect his career and prove the critics wrong. He's a low-end QB2 until we see something to prove otherwise.
DeMarco Murray back at practice Monday
Titans RB should get work in upcoming preseason games
Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) on Twitter: "@DeMarcoMurray worked extensively in @Titans practice tonight. Biggest step in return from hamstring injury" (Twitter)
FF Today's Take: DeMarco Murray is one of the most productive back in football when healthy, and this is a team that's focused on the running game. He's a Top 10 fantasy RB and a safe bet for consistent touches, even if the Titans work Derrick Henry in more this season.
Chargers lose Denzel Perryman for first 4 games
Standout LB suffered ankle injury
Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) on Twitter: "#Chargers LB Denzel Perryman suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out at least the first 4 games, source said. He may need surgery." (Twitter)
FF Today's Take: This is a bad news injury (high ankle sprain) that could take 6-8 weeks or longer to heal. IDP drafters should beware and look elsewhere to bolster their LB corps. Korey Toomer will fill Perryman's role for the season's outset.
De'Angelo Henderson shines in preseason opener
Denver RB was drafted in sixth round
DeVontae Booker, Denver’s No. 2 running back who had been pushing to be No. 1, suffered a fractured wrist when camp opened, and he'll be out for the rest of camp. They also have Jamaal Charles, Stevan Ridley and along with the arrival of rookie De'Angelo Henderson (54 yards and a long TD run in the preseason opener), see the return of No. 1 RB C.J. Anderson, Booker and Juwan Thompson. (Denver Post)
FF Today's Take: “What we saw tonight is what he’s been since we drafted the guy in the spring,” first-year Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said of Henderson after the 24-17 victory over the Bears. “So I’m not surprised to see that tonight.”
The Broncos have a lot of talented backs and are looking at a full-fledged competition for touches in the backfield.
Julio Jones primed to see more red zone looks?
Team placing emphasis on getting top WR more targets in close
Seems to be a real emphasis around getting Julio Jones more touches in the red zone this camp. (Head coach Dan Quinn) said he's been a real factor there. (AtlantaFalcons.com)
FF Today's Take: New OC Steve Sarkisian has been consistent about feeding Jones near the goal line, so perhaps this is the year he breaks through in the touchdown department. Besides his history with foot injuries, the one thing keeping Jones from becoming possibly the best receiver in fantasy football is the fact he has topped eight TDs just once. He's a top-three fantasy receiver regardless and a near-lock to come off the board among the first five picks in most drafts.
Mike Williams eyeing October debut?
First-round WR making progress from back injury
The Chargers are eyeing an October debut for first-round pick WR Mike Williams. The Clemson product, who is recovering from a herniated disc in his back from the spring, has been sprinting on the treadmill and on the practice field. By all accounts, he's making solid progress as the team has used rest and rehab, rather than a surgical option. Los Angeles is also being cautious. That's why, according to several sources with direct knowledge of the situation, the plan is for Williams to play in October. How it happens will depend on what unfolds over the next three weeks until it's time to make a roster decision on Sept. 2. (NFL.com - Ian Rapoport)
FF Today's Take: Williams suffered the injury in the team's first spring practice and has been sidelined ever since, so there is little chance he is going to be able to make a rookie-year impact. With that said, his size (6-4, 218) will make for an inviting red zone target on an offense that should be among the best in the league. He can go undrafted in most leagues, but he is one to keep an eye on if he can start playing by October.
Kenny Golladay poised for "important role"
WR should emerge as valuable red zone weapon
The Lions have resisted temptation to throw Kenny Golladay in with the first-team offense for now, letting him earn his stripes on the second team. Marvin Jones, Golden Tate and T.J. Jones have taken the bulk of the first-team work so far and, despite Golladay’s big game Sunday, that isn’t likely to change. Still, Golladay is on track to play an important role in the Lions offense this fall as a red-zone threat, where he has all the makings of being a quarterback’s best friend. (Detroit Free Press)
FF Today's Take: If we didn't know any better, it sounds as if the Lions want to use the 6-4, 213-pound rookie in the same way they utilized Anquan Boldin last year. Of course, 67 catches and eight touchdowns is setting the bar too high for Golladay, but 40-plus catches and 5-6 TDs is probably within reach. He figures to be very hit-or-miss as a rookie, but Detroit loves what it has here. Consider him an upside WR5 at the moment.
Bilal Powell, Matt Forte missing practice
RBs dealing with neck and hamstring injuries, respectively
Jets top two RBs Bilal Powell and Matt Forte are not participating in team drills again. Rookie Elijah McGuire takes first-team reps. (New York Daily News)
FF Today's Take: Teams are not required to file practice reports during the preseason, but we do know Powell missed the exhibition opener and some practices last week. The Jets do not figure to be all that competitive this season, but it could mean Powell and Forte emerge as PPR stars given how barren and/or unproven the depth chart is at receivers. Powell is a RB3 in PPR, while Forte should be considered a back-end RB4.
Jordan Matthews suffers chip fracture in sternum
First practice as a Bill
Injury Update: Jordan Matthews has a chip fracture in his sternum and will be listed as week to week. (BuffaloBills.com)
FF Today's Take: The Bills say their newly acquired wide receiver is week-to-week after suffering the injury in his first practice with his new team. "Week-to-week" implies that Mathews is going to miss a good portion of camp and will miss valuable getting to know the Bills passing game. Matthews is an uninspiring WR4 in redraft leagues.
Marqise Lee ankle injury not severe
Carted off practice field
Jaguars WR Marqise Lee, who was carted off today, did not suffer a serious injury, source said. Looked a lot worse than it was. (Ian Rapoport on Twitter)
FF Today's Take: Lee was carted off the practice field with an apparent right ankle injury but it sounds like the cart and air case applied may have precautionary. Depending on the diagnosis, Lee could miss some practice time in the coming weeks.
Leonard Fournette held out of practice Sunday
Rookie tailback Leonard Fournette did not practice because of a foot injury.
"It’s been something that has been growing,” coach Doug Marrone said. “It’s just one of those nagging things. The other day, it was sore so we said, Hey, let’s not take any chances. Let’s take cautionary measures so it can’t be something worse." (Florida Times Union)
FF Today's Take: Marrone wouldn't commit to Fournette playing in the Jaguars upcoming preseason game on Thursday. It's likely the Jags will be cautions with their rookie running back who is expected to see a significant workload this season. For now, this a situation to watch, by isn't a reason to knock Fournette down your rankings.
Bucs throw in the towel on K Roberto Aguayo
Nick Folk will take over kicking duties in Tampa Bay
After a disastrous start to the preseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have waived kicker Roberto Aguayo. Aguayo missed an extra point in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday night. He was then brought out late in the fourth quarter on a 47-yard attempt. The ball sailed wide right. (ESPN)
FF Today's Take: Aguayo struggled last season making 22 of 31 field goal attempts the lowest percentage in the NFL last season. He was a 2nd round draft pick by the Bucs last season. Nick Folk will take over kicking duties in Tampa Bay.
Ryan Tannehill placed on IR
ACL surgery expected soon
Dolphins officially placed quarterback Ryan Tannehill on injured reserve. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)
FF Today's Take: Tannehill is expected to have surgery on his ACL very soon which should allow him enough recovery time to be ready for the 2018 season. Jay Cutler takes over with a clear path to being the starter the entire season. His fantasy value is similar to Tannehill's as a low-end QB2.
Joe Flacco won't play in the preseason
Expected to be ready Week 1
The team now has a more definitive timeframe for QB Joe Flacco’s return. The 10th-year standout has been re-examined, and his progress from a back issue is good. He will return to practice in the preseason, but he is not expected to play in these games. The plan is for Flacco to be the starting quarterback against Cincinnati in the regular season opener on Sept. 10. (BaltimoreRavens.com)
FF Today's Take: The Ravens are wisely going to take it easy with their starting quarterback. It's a little uneasy that Flacco won't see any live action before Week 1 but fantasy owners can continue drafting Flacco as a low-end QB2 with confidence.
Jordan Matthews headed to Buffalo
Bills shakeup wide receiver group
The Eagles made a shocking move on Friday, trading away wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Buffalo Bills for cornerback Ronald Darby, the team announced Friday. (NJ.com)
FF Today's Take: The Bills have made significant changes to the wide receiver group over the last few days by acquiring Anquan Boldin, Mathews and trading star Sammy Watkins to the Rams. The Eagles have been talking up Nelson Agholor all pre-season and now it seems he's in line for the starting slot position with Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith on the outside. Matthews should step into the starting lineup in Buffalo and will see boost in fantasy value.
Bills ship WR Sammy Watkins to Rams
Acquire cornerback E.J. Gaines
The Buffalo Bills have traded wide receiver Sammy Watkins and a sixth-round pick in next year's draft to the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round pick, the Bills announced Friday. (ESPN)
FF Today's Take: Whoa. Given the moves this off-season, the Bills are focusing on the future which doesn't included their best receiver. This relocation isn't good news for Watkins fantasy value who now will be catching passes from Jared Goff who was below average in most QB passing categories last season. Perhaps a new offensive system under Sean McVay and a legitimate No.1 will push Goff in the right direction, but there are too many variables to continue valuing Watkins as a high-end WR2.