There truly is no offseason in the NFL, and that applies to fantasy as well. Below, I gather some of the more interesting tidbits from the news and look at them with a fantasy perspective.
Aug. 16 Updates
Ryan Mathews, RB, FA.
The Eagles released Ryan Mathews after he was finally declared healthy. The team saves $4 million against the cap, and Mathews will end up signing with a running back-needy team. That team could be the Ravens, as Terrance West is an average running back, but there are other landing spots that make sense. Mathews has a lot of ability, but injuries have been the bane of his career. He might be worth a flier, but I'd like to see where he lands first.
John Brown, WR, Cardinals.
John Brown returned to practice and was considered a "full" participant. This comes just a day after Bruce Arians had ripped into his receivers and said he was concerned with Brown's quad injury. Brown had missed two weeks with his injury, but now that he's back, he can continue to make good on his return to form after a lost 2016 season due to injuries and complications due to sickle cell. This recent injury is a concern, but if he can stay healthy, his upside is quite high in the Cardinals' offense.
Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders.
Amari Cooper returned to practice after missing seven of the last eight practices with a leg injury. The team never went into detail about the injury, but the fact he is back at practice is all we really need at the moment. As long as he can stay out there, he should be fine to go for your fake team in Week 1.
Jamaal Charles, RB, Broncos.
Jamaal Charles will sit out the second preseason game. The Broncos are being extra careful with him and will likely just try to keep him healthy enough for 10-12 touches a game to start the season. He'll need to show he can stay healthy and productive for his workload to increase. He's worth a flier in fantasy drafts, but I'm not holding out too much hope.
Breshad Perriman, WR, Ravens.
Breshad Perriman can't seem to stay on the field, as he now has suffered a Grade 2 hamstring strain. He's been out for a couple weeks due to the injury and will likely be out another couple weeks before he is ready to return. This likely gives Mike Wallace the biggest bump in targets, but Jeremy Maclin would also see some funneled his way.
O.J. Howard, TE, Bucs.
Bucs beat writer Jenna Laine doesn't think we'll see much from O.J. Howard as a receiver this season. He's been a strong blocker in camp, but is still raw as a receiver and the Bucs already have Cameron Brate ready to go as a receiver who knows the offense. There really is no reason to draft Howard in any re-draft leagues this season, and don't skip Brate, especially in 2TE leagues.
Adam Shaheen, TE, Bears.
The Bears aren't an offense to target, but in dynasty, you might want to grab rookie tight end Adam Shaheen, who beat writer Jeff Dickerson believes will see a lot of time on the field this year. Dion Sims is likely to man the starting spot, as he is a strong blocker and the Bears are going to rely on the run, but Shaheen should be the future for them.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Titans and Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins.
DeMarco Murray and Jay Ajayi have both returned to practice. Both have injury concerns, with Murray getting up in age and Ajayi running with reckless abandon, but both are also strong fantasy plays, due to their large roles in the offense.
Erik Swoope, TE, Colts.
Colts tight end Erik Swoope underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and is considered week-to-week for a return. The Colts like to use two tight ends, and Swope was the backup/partner to Jack Doyle, which should give Doyle a few extra helpings of targets to start the season. Swope makes for a safe tight end pick late in drafts as long as Andrew Luck is alive.
John Ross, WR, Bengals.
John Ross returned to practice for the Bengals after missing all of the offseason and the beginning of training camp due to a shoulder injury. He likely won't be a consistent fantasy play, but his speed is going to be a big help to this offense and Andy Dalton, as Ross should be able to get behind coverage and spread a defense out.
Bilal Powell and Matt Forte, RBs, Jets.
Both Bilal Powell and Matt Forte continue to miss practice. Forte's absence is due to a hamstring injury, while Powell's injury is to his neck. The Jets aren't obligated to say much about the injuries, so we just don't know how bad they are. A neck injury, at the very least, sounds like it could be something that could keep Powell out a while, and he's the guy you want on your fantasy teams this season. I'll be keeping a close eye on his practice status.
Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions.
Kenny Golladay showed why so many have been high on him when he snagged two touchdowns against the Colts on Sunday. And the red zone is where he would need to do his fantasy business, because he is currently too far down the target totem pole at the moment. There is room for him to gather more targets as the season goes on, but in normal re-draft leagues, I'd only look at him as a late-round flier.
Mike Williams, WR, Chargers.
Rookie receiver Mike Williams is eyeing an October return from his back injury, which would give him around four games missed. The Chargers could go ahead and put him on the reserve/PUP list, which would push him out for six games. Either way this is not a great start for a rookie receiver. He's officially off the re-draft radar.
Carlos Henderson, RB, Broncos.
Carlos Henderson underwent surgery on his thumb and is week-to-week for a return to practice. He's shown well enough so far in camp and preseason that he's likely got a job, and with C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles ahead of him, there is a chance he could move up into significant playing time at some point this year.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars.
Leonard Fournette will miss Jacksonville's second preseason game with an injured foot. The Jaguars will be cautious with Fournette, who is the motor behind what they want to do on offense this season. Right now, it doesn't appear to be an injury that they are concerned about, so I'd keep him where he is on your draft boards.
Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons.
Devonta Freeman is in the concussion protocol after leaving practice on Sunday. There's no reason to believe this head injury will linger.
Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars.
Marqise Lee has a high ankle sprain and will likely be out 4-6 weeks. He will try to be ready for Week 1, but there's a chance he misses the game. He's a good player on a bad team and now injured. Things aren't looking great for him. Dede Westbrook would likely get the start if Lee can't go in Week 1.
Paul Richardson, WR, Seahawks.
Paul Richardson has a shoulder joint sprain and will be out a few weeks. He is no doubt a great talent, but he can't seem to stay on the field. His upside is worth it in dynasty, but right now, he'll be tough to roster in most leagues unless Tyler Lockett also can't stay healthy.
Aug. 9 Updates
Quincy Enunwa is out for the season with a neck injury, meaning the Jets are somehow in worse shape than when training camp started, which is a tough task to accomplish. Will you be able to get any fantasy players from this team?
It's going to be tough, but Bilal Powell is the obvious choice to see a lot of work, both as a runner and receiver. He won't be a touchdown king, but his PPR numbers should be good. As for receivers, there's Robby Anderson as the No. 1 now, and he has some value, but we could see targets spread around quite a bit with such a lack of top talent to take them, and on a team that won't score much, that makes for some poor individual numbers. At this point, Austin Seferian-Jenkins should move up the target list even with a two-game suspension to start the year. He's been getting praise this offseason, and we know he has skills. His upside in this offense is still not great, but he could easily be a top-three target from a team for cheap.
Jay Cutler, QB, Dolphins.
Jay Cutler has decided to come out of retirement to quarterback the Miami Dolphins. He will rejoin Adam Gase, who helped him to his most efficient season when Gase was the offensive coordinator in Chicago. This is a good move by the Dolphins, especially if Gase can wrangle in Cutler like he did in Chicago. Cutler will likely be used much as Ryan Tannehill would have been, as a game manager, handing the ball off to Jay Ajayi and hitting Jarvis Landry on short to medium passes. I was down on this passing game for fantasy as it was, so I don't think Cutler does anything to harm my projections about Miami moving forward.
Andrew Luck, QB, Colts.
Indianapolis' coaching staff isn't willing to give any timetable for Andrew Luck's return, but coach Pagano did make a point to say Luck has played a lot of football, insinuating that he won't need a lot of work to be ready to go for Week 1. At this point I'm not overly worried, but there are plenty of good quarterbacks to draft from and I could see being cautious for now.
I won't get into too much depth-chart breaking news, because all depth charts are just placeholders at the moment. Take Jeremy Hill, he's listed as the No. 1 back, but it just takes a little common sense to show you that Joe Mixon is ahead of Hill and will be the preferred back in Cincinnati as long as he's healthy. But Mixon is listed as third on the depth chart, which is just Marvin Lewis' way of giving veterans some reason for hope as their careers fade away.
Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs.
Kansas City rookie running back Kareem Hunt has started to see more work with the first team of late and appears to be in a real competition with Spencer Ware for the starting job. Right now, I like Ware, but I'm not going to look at evidence to the contrary if it presents itself and not switch to Hunt if he wins the job.
Anquan Boldin signed with the Buffalo Bills, greatly increasing the talent in their receiving group. Sammy Watkins is of course the No. 1 and Zay Jones could still win the No. 2 job, but Boldin is no doubt the No. 3 and a great outlet and red zone receiver for Tyrod Taylor. I'd still target Jones late in drafts, but this move makes Tyrod Taylor's stock rise enough to feel a bit safer with him as your starter.
Duke Johnson, RB, Browns.
Duke Johnson received some praise from wide receivers coach Al Saunders saying, "He's going to be a dynamic player in this league as a versatile guy who can catch and run." The idea of Johnson working out of the slot is intriguing to his PPR value this season, and it appears the team wants to use him quite a bit, but we also need to remember there won't be a ton of fantasy points to go around in this offense. But for full-point PPR, Johnson should continue to have value at his current ADP.
Dwayne Allen, TE, Patriots.
Ben Volin from the Boston Globe notes that Dwayne Allen and Tom Brady have shown chemistry in the red zone so far this training camp. There are many weapons in New England, so doling out touchdowns and fantasy points to all of them isn't plausible, but Allen is no doubt a good red-zone target and we know the Rob Gronkowski isn't the healthiest kitten in the basket.
Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles.
The Eagles have been talking up Nelson Agholor in the slot, which is Jordan Matthews' position. It really doesn't seem logical for Agholor to pass Matthews on the depth chart, especially as Matthews has been practicing in full this training camp, so there is some thought that Matthews might be available for a trade. Philadelphia's receiving group is a bit crowded at the moment, so a trade of some kind wouldn't be out of the question. Keep any eye on this, as Agholor would see a good bump and Matthews could end up going to a team where he would be in line for more work.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins.
Jay Ajayi returned to practice on a limited basis Tuesday. He still hasn't been cleared from the concussion protocol, but this shows he is close and should be back fully back soon.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Seahawks.
Eddie Lacy reportedly came in under his designated 250-pound threshold, so he still appears on track. He's also splitting time with Thomas Rawls with the first team, but is still not 100 percent after offseason surgery. Lacy was signed to be the starter, but Pete Carroll is going to field the best team he can, so Lacy will need to step it up during the preseason.
Latavius Murray, RB, Vikings.
Latavius Murray has been activated from the active/PUP list, and it is just in time if he wants to chip away at rookie Dalvin Cook's lead to be the No. 1 running back. If things go as they have been, Cook should end the preseason as the No. 1 back, but with Murray in the mix, we can't be 100 percent sure of that.
Aug. 4 Updates
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins.
Ryan Tannehill hurt his left knee in practice on Thursday. This was a non-contact injury, and initial reports are of a hyperextension and possible PCL damage. It's still too early to know the extent of the injury until he undergoes an MRI. He likely will miss a decent chunk of time as it is, but we'll need to see if the doctors rule out anything worse. The Dolphins' front office has already brought up controversial quarterback Colin Kaepernick as a contingency plan and would likely be an organization who would go ahead and sign him if they felt the need.
Forrest Lamp, OL, Chargers.
The Chargers have lost their first-round offensive lineman Forrest Lamp to an ACL injury, which is par for the course for this team it seems. They have beefed up their offensive line, but Lamp was part of that beef, so it did take a hit. I'm still on board for this team's offense this season, but anymore injuries will start causing a lot of real-life and fantasy problems for this team.
Will Fuller, WR, Texans.
Texans second-year receiver Will Fuller fractured his collar bone in practice on Wednesday and will be out two to three months. That puts him at a big disadvantage as he'll miss the start of the season and could even be held out until the Texans return from their bye in Week 8. The injury shouldn't be anything that will hurt his long-term value though, so feel good about targeting him in dynasty still.
Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants.
Sterling Shepard gave his fans a scare when he hurt his ankle in practice and had to be carted off, but the news ended up better than first thought as he has a low ankle sprain and should be back in a couple weeks. His fantasy value already took a hit with the signing of Brandon Marshall, and missing time in training camp is also not a great start to the season. I doubt we can ask for much from Shepard this season with Eli Manning chucking the rock.
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Lions.
It's been reported multiple times, but Ameer Abdullah will be the Lions' feature running back this season, according to running backs coach David Walker. Unfortunately, Detroit's lead back role isn't one that will see 250-plus touches. If Abdullah can stay healthy, he will likely hit 200 or more touches and be worth some fantasy equity, but with Theo Riddick as the primary receiving back, we have to temper expectations.
Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles.
Eagles post-hype receiver Nelson Agholor is getting quite a bit of praise out of Eagles camp. He's still behind Jordan Matthews and Alshon Jeffery - who are both currently dinged - and appears to be beating out Torrey Smith for the No. 3 receiver job at the moment. Agholor is worth getting back on your fantasy radar.
Derrick Henry, RB, Titans.
DeMarco Murray is out with a hamstring tweak. It's likely nothing of concern, but it allows me to speculate on Derrick Henry's upside if Murray were to ever to miss any significant time this season. Henry would no doubt be a Top-10 fantasy back, but of course, his ADP is too high for his role at the moment. Murray has held up well in his career, and the odds are against him suffering a season-long injury, so that puts Henry in an almost impossible spot for fantasy players.
Samaje Perine, RB, Redskins.
Rob Kelley is in the lead for the starting running back job in Washington at the moment according to The Washington Post, which believes he will start the season as the No. 1 back. That very well may be true, but I still believe Samaje Perine is the more talented back and should win work as the season goes along. That unfortunately makes Perine a tough fantasy pick since we don't know when that might happen. I like his upside, but he'll need to come on strong and win the job outright to be a good fantasy pick at his ADP.
Cam Meredith, WR, Bears.
The Chicago Sun-Times sees good chemistry between Mike Glennon and Cam Meredith so far in camp, and just a few days ago, Glennon talked Meredith up saying he should have "a big year." It doesn't appear as if Kevin White is going to cut into Meredith's target numbers and the Bears will likely be playing from behind often, which makes Meredith a steal at his current ADP.
Mark Ingram, RB, Saints.
Saints reporter Mike Triplett believes Mark Ingram will be the running back who ends up with the most work in the backfield, and reports that Ingram has been "very active in the passing game" thus far in training camp. That receiving work and the offense's need to not be one dimensional should keep Ingram as the lead back over Adrian Peterson, who can't catch a ball he has already caught.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles.
Alshon Jeffery missed his third straight practice with an injured shoulder. The team doesn't seem to be worried, and he could practice on Friday, but it does feel like the same old, same old from Jeffery. He'll need to be had a discount to feel good about drafting him right now.
Zay Jones, WR, Bills.
Zay Jones is in the lead for the No. 2 receiver job in Buffalo, according to beat writer Joe Buscaglia. It's not a prime spot for a fantasy receiver, but it does have some upside due to Sammy Watkins' injury history. As long as Jones is secure in the No. 2 spot, he'll be worth drafting this season.
Aug. 1 Updates
Andrew Luck, QB, Colts.
Andrew Luck wouldn't commit to being ready for Week 1 of the regular season. This is concerning, but it's still way too early to freak out. In the interview where he said he might not be ready, he also said, "It's hard for me to look beyond, really, today's rehab session. That's the approach I have to take ... if you want to get truly healthy." I'll take that as my answer, and hopefully we'll know more in the next few weeks. For now, I've dropped him a bit in my rankings just to be safe, but if he's falling in drafts, I'd still grab him at value.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins.
Jay Ajayi is being evaluated for a concussion after a hard hit in practice on Monday. If he did suffer a concussion, the Dolphins will likely take their time with his recovery so he's 100 percent. Ajayi is this team's offense when you get down to it. His running style is a little scary, and this injury seems to coincide with that running style. I would expect him to face some dings this season at the least. Kenyon Drake took over lead-back work in practice after Ajayi left, but if Ajayi were to miss regular-season time, Drake would likely split time with Damien Williams and the Dolphins would end up passing more.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers.
Jonathan Stewart had high praise for Christian McCaffrey's route running, and beat reporter David Newton wrote that McCaffrey has been "peppered with short passes and screens" early in camp. Stewart said that "There's not going to be anybody in this league that can cover him 1-on-1." This is all good news for McCaffrey's PPR value this season, but Stewart isn't going away and will likely see the majority of the early down rushing attempts.
Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook, RBs, Vikings.
Latavius Murray still has no timetable to return other than to say that he'll be ready for the regular season. Unless Murray comes back sooner than later and impresses, rookie Dalvin Cook has the lead in the running back competition. If Cook can also prove his pass-catching and blocking skills, he should be able to win a three-down job, which would give him a ton of upside. At this point his ADP is still in a good range for his upside, so feel free to scoop him up.
Doug Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers, RBs, Bucs.
There's been much speculation as to who would lead the Buccaneers backfield once Doug Martin returns from his suspension in Week 4. Reports have been all over the place, with some saying Jacquizz Rodgers has a real chance to beat out Martin, to Rodgers being in a committee for the first three weeks. I still think the obvious answer is that Rodgers is the lead back for the first three weeks and then Martin takes the job back over in Week 4, when unfortunately, the Buccaneers hit a tough defensive matchup stretch. Rodgers is worth a pick late and Martin is as well, but Martin's current ADP as the 20th running back off the board is way too steep a price for me.
Chester Rogers, WR, Colts.
Chester Rogers is currently running as the No. 3 receiver in Indianapolis. If he can stick there, he would have some deep-league appeal, but we still have a way to go and Kamar Aiken and Phillip Dorsett are still trying to get their hands on the job.
Eric Ebron, TE, Lions.
Eric Ebron hurt his hamstring Sunday, but the Lions are calling it a "tweak," which should just mean a few days to a week on the sidelines. He's had trouble putting together full seasons so far in his career - and these types of injuries only help reinforce the thought that he could miss a game or two this season -, but unless he receives a significant injury, all signs point to him becoming a bigger part of this offense in 2017.
Jamaal Charles, RB, Broncos.
Peter King reports that Jamaal Charles will likely see eight to 10 touches per game if he is healthy. Charles' age and injury history make it tough to ask for much more from him, especially out of the gate. Unfortunately for fantasy, those just aren't enough touches to give you any kind of consistency from week to week. Late in PPR leagues, he has some value, but I would only take a flier on him.
Marquise Goodwin, WR, 49ers.
The Sacramento Bee has Marquise Goodwin as the clear starting wide receiver alongside Pierre Garcon, while Jeremy Kerley would land in his usual slot role. Goodwin has the speed to do some work in the Taylor Gabriel vein, but will also be on a team that is deficient in overall talent, unlike the Falcons.
Mike Williams, WR, Chargers.
Chargers rookie Mike Williams is out at least until the regular season, but there is no guarantee he will be ready then either. He needs to be taken off all re-draft draft boards.
July 27 Updates
Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens.
Joe Flacco hurt his back while lifting weights, but for now, the Ravens are just saying they will give him a week of rest and see where he is. But, beat writer Jeff Zrebiec reports that Flacco might miss three to six weeks, which is quite concerning for everyone in Baltimore. Don't be surprised to see Baltimore looking at quarterbacks, as the team has the awful Ryan Mallett as its current backup.
Terrance West and Danny Woodhead, RBs, Ravens.
Kenneth Dixon had surgery to repair a torn meniscus and will miss the entire season. The Ravens will look to bring someone in to compete with Terrance West for work, but Danny Woodhead's usage should be great if he can stay healthy. West, is likely going to be the lead back, but it's worth seeing who they bring in before going all-in on the average back.
Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins.
Jordan Reed has a toe sprain and will start training camp on the active/PUP list. It appears to a minor problem that should resolve itself quickly, but the coaching staff will likely baby him due to his injury history. It is a stark reminder that Reed is dinged up often.
Cam Newton, QB, Panthers.
Cam Newton isn't a full-go yet, but he went through team drills and was throwing the ball well, according to onlookers. It's good to see him participating, and it looks like he won't have many limitations to start camp. He's also lost a few pounds; whereas he had been playing around 260 pounds, he is now closer to his listed weight of 246. That's still huge for a quarterback and should allow him to absorb more hits than your average signal-caller, but also make him a bit quicker. Newton really is set up for a bounce-back season, but I don't think he'll ever return to his MVP numbers from 2015.
Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, QBs, Broncos.
Trevor Siemian will start out taking reps with the first team, but then rotate with Paxton Lynch. Lynch made a push at the end of the offseason program, but Siemian has remained the more consistent passer so far in practices. Lynch has a shot if he can put together a strong stretch this training camp, but Siemian is in the lead. Neither have much fantasy upside, but they do have a soft schedule and could be useful in 2QB leagues.
Jamaal Charles, RB, Broncos.
Jamaal Charles has been cleared for training camp. He will likely be eased in, but as long as he doesn't have any setbacks, he should be able to make the team. There's a real chance that even if he's healthy, Charles could be more of a third-down back to save wear and tear on his knee. If he's looking good this camp, that is where I'd put his value to be safe.
George Kittle, TE, 49ers.
The 49ers admitted that they've tried trading Vance McDonald, which should be a strong indication that they like what they have in George Kittle. McDonald will get a chance to beat out Kittle, but the odds seem long at this point. I doubt you'll get anything from Kittle this year in fantasy, but he shouldn't be on dynasty waivers at this point.
Theo Riddick, RB, Lions.
Detroit beat writer Tim Twentyman expects Theo Riddick to see more work in the red zone with Anquan Boldin out of town. Riddick continues to be a good PPR pick, but an increase in touchdowns could make him a great one at his current ADP.
John Ross, WR, Bengals.
Bengals rookie John Ross is still a couple weeks from being able to practice. He, of course, wasn't there for any of the offseason program, so he is undoubtedly behind the eight ball. Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd will likely have to be overtaken for targets at this point, which isn't good news with A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert already atop the pecking order.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Panthers.
Kelvin Benjamin appears to have slimmed down since showing up at OTAs a little on the hefty side. His current ADP as the 27th receiver off the board is probably a decent spot to grab him after a down year last season that coincided with a down and injury-plagued year from Cam Newton.
Sammie Coates, WR, Steelers
Sammie Coates had a knee scope and will need 3-4 weeks to recover. He's already way down the depth chart now, so this just helps solidify his do-not-draft status.
July 25 Updates
Latavius Murray, RB, Vikings.
Latavius Murray will start training camp out on the active/PUP list, which means he can practice as soon as he's able. Yesterday, Murray said his "health is really good," so it's likely he'll start practicing fairly soon. Rookie Dalvin Cook is in the lead for the starting job, so Murray needs to get healthy fast if he wants to throw his hat in the ring.
Mike Williams, WR, Chargers.
The news continues to get better for Chargers rookie Mike Williams after it was reported he might need back surgery. Josina Anderson reports that Williams is feeling better, but we still have no timetable for his return to practice. Williams will likely continue to fall behind in the race for playing time the longer he is out. I'll need to see him healthy and in play for a starting job before considering him in re-draft.
Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles.
Jordan Matthews will be limited to start training camp due to knee tendinitis. There doesn't seem to be any worry from the coaching staff, and it looks like they will limit Matthews to lessen the wear and tear going into this season. There are a lot of mouths to feed in Philadelphia, so targets are going to be hard to come by, but Matthews has also seen a big drop in his ADP with Alshon Jeffery and others in the mix.
Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions.
Rookie Kenny Golladay leads the competition for the starting slot job in Detroit. That's good news for him and his development, but he'll likely need his role expanded to have an impact in fantasy this season. His ability may push him onto the field more as the season goes on, but I'll be waiting to grab him off waivers if that starts happening.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Tyler Eifert should be ready for training camp. He'll likely be eased back, but all signs point to him being a full-go much earlier than he was last season, when he missed the first six games. The Bengals' passing game should be ready to go Week 1, which is a great sign for Andy Dalton, and despite Eifert's injury woes, his upside is still quite high, especially with his ADP taking a slight hit due to injury concerns.
Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers.
Everyone seems to be in agreement that Keenan Allen looks to be back to his pre-injury self, with Philip Rivers and multiple beat writers liking what they've seen from him. Thankfully, Allen's injury happened in Week 1 last season, so he's had plenty of time to get back into shape after surgery. And now that Mike Williams is hurting, Allen should at least start the season as a target hog.
Duke Johnson, RB, Browns.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot believes running back Duke Johnson is the leading candidate to play the slot wide receiver role this year. If that does happen, we will still need more information on how he would be used when the formation doesn't require a slot receiver. Would he line up in the backfield? Would he be on the sideline? If Johnson could see work as a receiver out of the backfield and in the slot, his PPR upside would still be good. If his role doesn't expand, being the slot receiver could actually hurt him in this offense.
John Brown, WR, Cardinals.
Cardinals receiver John Brown has added 12 pounds this offseason and now weighs in at 185 pounds. He says he hasn't lost any speed, and so far, onlookers, including teammates, believe he is back to the speed he was before injuries and complications from sickle cell slowed him down last year. As long as those complications are in the rearview mirror, Brown has a high ceiling and a good ADP.
Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine, RBs, Redskins.
ESPN reporter John Keim has Rob Kelley as his starting running back in Washington, but there is room for rookie Samaje Perine to win the job. Kelley slowed down as last season went on and really left a lot on the table late in the year. Perine should be an upgrade, but we'll just have to see how training camp goes. My money is on Perine winning the job, but I'm not going to go all out for him in my drafts.
Anquan Boldin, WR, Bills.
Anquan Boldin is meeting with the Buffalo Bills today, which is a really good spot for him if he were to sign. The Bills are severely lacking for red-zone targets and veteran leadership. Boldin would be a nice addition for Tyrod Taylor, but as a receiver, Boldin would likely be completely touchdown dependent in fantasy.
July 19 Updates
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys.
The biggest fantasy news belongs to Ezekiel Elliott, who just recently was involved in an altercation at a club and already had various troubles with exposing a woman's breasts and charges of abuse. At this point, the investigation into the altercation is still ongoing, but Adam Schefter has reported that a suspension could be coming down the pipe for his earlier transgressions. This is all starting to pile up enough to be truly concerned about his status to start the season. I wish we had a better handle on the number of games he could miss, but my guess - unless this club altercation gets worse - is that he could miss 2-4 games. That puts him in a range that I'd still grab him if he fell later in the first round because he's just too consistent when he's on the field. I could see playing it safe and waiting until the second round, but he's a league-winner when rolling and sometimes you have to take risks to win.
Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers.
The Steelers offered Le'Veon Bell over $12 million per year, which was more overall than what he would get if he is tagged again next offseason. Who knows if there were any contingencies in the deal that Bell wasn't a fan of, but it sounds like a damn good deal. He will bet on himself to make even bigger money long term, but this is a risk by Bell. His reluctance to sign should give you a bit more impetus to acquire James Conner in dynasty. If Conner can become the lead back sooner than later, his upside is sky high in this offense.
Kerwynn Williams, RB, Cardinals.
Kerwynn Williams appears to be in the lead for the backup job behind David Johnson this season. Williams is not worth handcuffing to Johnson because he would likely lose passing downs to Andre Ellington and split up what fantasy upside he has, but if Johnson were to join a cult and disappear into the Amazon, Williams would be the guy to grab first.
D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texans.
Rookie running back D'Onta Foreman was arrested for marijuana possession and unlawful carrying of a weapon. His lawyer refutes both charges, and I expect this case will be in legal limbo for a while, but he did report to OTAs out of shape, which isn't the best move, especially with Bill O'Brien as the coach. Expect Lamar Miller to hold onto the lead job and Alfred Blue to have a leg up on Foreman going into this season.
Anquan Boldin, WR, FA.
Anquan Boldin says he will meet with a team on Sunday and wants to play for a contender. Who knows where he'll end up, but wherever he goes, he'll likely hurt the red-zone targets of their receiving crew.
Zach Miller, TE, Bears.
The Chicago Sun-Times believes tight end Zach Miller may not make the team unless he has a "really good camp." The Bears signed Dion Sims this offseason and have a second-round pick in Adam Shaheen. Miller will be a free agent next season, and the Bears would save a couple million dollars if they let him go now. We'll see how it goes, but if Miller is gone, Dion Sims becomes a play in deeper leagues.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins.
Washington doesn't want to pay Kirk Cousins, or Cousins wants to get away from that dysfunctional cesspool, but either way, Cousins will once again play on the franchise tag, which also heightens his play since he needs to do well to keep getting paid. I like Cousins playing with a chip on his shoulder.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings.
Vikings beat writers like what they've seen from Dalvin Cook. Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune believes Cook has the versatility to take the job from Day 1 and keep it. At this point, I think Cook has the upper hand, especially if he can play all three downs and pass protect. That's asking a lot from a rookie, but so far, the signs are good that he has the ability.
July 13 Updates
Adrian Peterson, RB, Saints.
In news you can't use, Adrian Peterson is targeting 500 receiving yards this season. In other unrelated news, I am targeting Mars as a nice spot to raise my family. Peterson won't reach 500 yards receiving this season because he's never done that in his illustrious career, plus he's so far down the totem pole on the target list that they'd have to dig the pole up and plant it upside down to see him. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram are ahead of him on the running back target list, which is, of course, not counting all the actual wide receivers and tight ends who are also way ahead of him. This is a long, rambling way to tell you that Peterson is kidding himself and you and that we can't a take players' word when it comes to his own stats.
George Kittle, TE, 49ers.
The George Kittle hype seems to still be moving at a solid pace. 49ers GM John Lynch talked him up again the other day, saying, "He's got some suddenness to him in his movements. He catches the ball extremely well. George gives us something we don't have as a play-maker down in the red zone. He is that guy who can win 1-on-1. He can impose his will and out-athlete people." That's pretty high praise, and when you add in that nobody has the starting tight end job wrapped up in this offense, there's a good chance he can win out. The 49ers still have Brian Hoyer at quarterback and a lack of overall talent on the team, so fantasy points will be few and far between, but in deep 2TE leagues, getting a starter can sometimes be tough.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos.
Emmanuel Sanders has cut fast food from his diet, so expect Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch to be much better at getting the ball to Sanders, who probably weighed something like 300 pounds last season.
Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers.
Carlos Hyde's job isn't secure according to beat writer Matt Maiocco. This has been the scuttlebutt in San Francisco this offseason, so it appears that Joe Williams will at least get a chance at work this season. The reasoning behind Hyde's status is due to the coaching change, his injury history and his contract status. These situations are always tough to decipher, but Hyde is a good running back and his skills should keep him in the lead; however, I could easily see Kyle Shanahan committee Hyde with Williams and even Tim Hightower. This news coupled with a tough schedule and bad offense makes me want to hide from drafting Carlos this season.
Eric Ebron, TE, Lions.
Eric Ebron is "overly excited" about his role in the offense for this season. He believes he'll see more routes and scoring opportunities, which is quite plausible now that Anquan Boldin and his 22 red-zone targets are sitting at home gathering dust.
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos.
Demaryius Thomas says he has recovered from the hip issue that slowed him down last season and is ready to roll. The issue sounds like it has been chronic for him, so I would assume that a reoccurrence isn't a long shot, but Thomas has continued to put up good fantasy numbers even after Peyton Manning's retirement. Those numbers just look "meh" when you compare the two. Don't write Thomas off due to bad quarterback play. As long as you can get him at the right price, his consistency should pay off for your team.
Todd Gurley, RB, Rams.
Probably the best reason to have some optimism about Todd Gurley's 2017 season is the fact that Jeff Fisher is gone. His offense was vanilla, and Gurley didn't have much room to run or variety of play calls. Under Sean McVay, the Rams will at least attempt to play more situational football, playing to a defense's weaknesses. I'm still not sold on Gurley's ability to have a big season in this offense, but I do feel like it will be almost impossible to have as bad a season as last year. His ADP is at his ceiling in my mind, so I'll likely eschew his fantasy advances this season.