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Saturday, August 16, 2014, 8:48am - [Full Article]

Lions beat writer Justin Rogers liked TE Eric Ebron as a player trending upward.

The rookie tight end had a quiet preseason debut last week, catching just one pass for two yards. Against the Raiders, he showcased his big-play potential, coming down with a 23-yard gain on a pass over the middle from Stafford and adding a 14-yard pickup on a sideline throw by Orlovsky.

Ebron can still be better. He missed an opportunity for extra yardage after failing to cleanly catch the ball from Stafford, plus the first-round pick drew a block in the back infraction on a punt return.

Fantasy Impact:
It usually takes a while for young TEs to develop in the league but there have been some exceptions. It's probably still a little too early to know, but Ebron is trending that way. He comes in ranked 21st, however owners are taking a late-round flier on him with an ADP of the 15th. We don't really recommend taking two TEs in typical leagues, but it seems like a potential value pick if you need to draft two.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014, 8:41am - [Full Article]

The Lions have played two preseason games now and have struggled to run the football consistently in both games.

“I think the run game is a little bit odd, especially in the preseason,” QB Matt Stafford said. “The run game a lot of times is a methodical thing where you’re chewing up yards, chewing up yards and you wear them down. Then you pop a couple big ones late in the game and all of the sudden you rush for 140 yards.

The Lions were a very good rushing football team last year and this current two-week trend shouldn’t be too big of a concern just yet.

Fantasy Impact:
The Lions rushed for 77 yards against Cleveland and just 52 in Oakland. Joique Bell and Reggie Bush are expected to lead the way, but Bell presenting a little more fantasy value due to being able to get him later in drafts.

Saturday, August 16, 2014, 8:37am - [Full Article]

The Lions WR battle is very close behind Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate.

Jeremy Ross has likely already cemented his spot on the roster with his return ability, but two catches for 42 yards Friday night showed coaches he could make some plays in the passing game, too

Ryan Broyles continued his strong training camp. He caught three passes last week and caught two more Friday night, including a 34-yarder with 32 yards in run after the catch.

Kris Durham went up and caught a 50/50 ball in the end zone for a touchdown on the Lions’ second possession of the game. Durham used his 6-foot-6 frame to his advantage and just muscled the ball away from the defender.

Corey Fuller nearly scored on a 15-yard catch down to the 1-yard line in the third quarter. It was nearly his second touchdown in as many weeks.

Fantasy Impact:
The WR3 role in Detroit could have some limited fantasy value in certain leagues, so it's a battle worth monitoring.

49ers WR Michael Crabtree (hamstring) back at practice

Friday, August 15, 2014, 11:49pm

Mercury News - [Full Article]

WR Michael Crabtree was back snagging Colin Kaepernick’s passes Friday, showing no signs of a hamstring injury that sidelined him most of the 49ers training camp.

Crabtree is unsure whether the coaches will have him play Sunday. But he claims he’s 100-percent healthy, not to mention 10 to 15 pounds lighter than he was upon last December’s comeback from an Achilles tear.

“I was fast enough to be on the field. But I wasn’t me,” said Crabtree, who had only one touchdown among his 34 catches over the final eight games, including playoffs. “You guys have been here long enough. This is going on my sixth year. You know when I’m at my best, you know when I ain’t looking right.”

Fantasy Impact:
Including three playoff games, Crabtree appeared in eight contests last season and averaged 4.3 catches for 61 yards and 0.13 TD. For a better indication of his potential for 2014, we should include the 10 games he played with Colin Kaepernick in 2012 (and in the 2013 playoffs). When those numbers are rolled in, Crabtree averaged 5.3 catches for 76 yards and 0.50 TD, which equates to 10.6 PPG, or strong WR2-type numbers.

Titans QB Jake Locker impressive in second preseason game

Friday, August 15, 2014, 11:40pm - [Full Article]

After throwing just two passes against the Packers last week, Titans QB Jake Locker came out of the gate firing against the New Orleans Saints.

Locker confidently marched the first team on a seven-play, 62-yard scoring drive that saw him complete 4 of 5 passes for 30 yards with a pretty touchdown strike to "Making the Leap" candidate Justin Hunter.

After what Ken Whisenhunt did for Philip Rivers in San Diego last season, we're already seeing the coach's fingerprints on Tennessee's young passer.

Fantasy Impact:
Locker has averaged 15.1 FP in 16 career starts. That extrapolates to 241 points over a 16-game season, or about what Ryan Tannehill scored as the #16 QB in 2013. Health has been his biggest problem, but if he can stay upright, he could grow in Ken Whisenhunt’s offense.

Titans RB Shonn Greene re-injures troublesome knee

Friday, August 15, 2014, 11:36pm

The Tennessean - [Full Article]

Titans running back Shonn Greene left Friday’s preseason game against the Saints in the first half with a right knee injury and did not return.

Greene has had arthroscopic surgery on the knee twice since injuring it in the season opener last year.

This time he was injured after fumbling midway through the second quarter. He was seen sitting on the bench with a bag of ice strapped to the knee.

Fantasy Impact:

Bishop Sankey will likely see a boost in the coming weeks if Greene misses significant time. The Titans backfield is somewhat murky, but the Titans made Sankey the first running back drafted for a reason -- they intend to use him. History has been kind to the first RB taken, especially if they join a backfield with a lackluster or departed incumbent.

Patriots RB Steven Ridley's fumblitis returns

Friday, August 15, 2014, 11:32pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Running back Stevan Ridley has hard-to-miss talent, but his issue in recent years has been ball security. It might have been part of his planned workload (16 snaps played), or it could have been a replay of what unfolded in 2013, but Ridley didn't see the field after a second-quarter fumble. It was a close play, and we'll be interested to see it again to determine if it was indeed a fumble. Rookie James White played more snaps than any running back in the first half (26 snaps).

Fantasy Impact:
Ridley is on thin ice due to his ball security problems. The team gave him a vote of confidence when they let LeGarrette Blount walk in free agency, but they drafted White, presumably to shore up the position and possibly to replace Ridley when he becomes a free agent next summer. If he can hold onto the ball, he has the scoring potential to finish in the top 10, but his ball security issues make him a risky pick, even in the middle rounds.

Friday, August 15, 2014, 11:26pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Eagles third-round pick Josh Huff, a wide receiver from the University of Oregon, suffered a right shoulder injury late in the first quarter and was forced to the sidelines for the remainder of the game.

Eagles WR Jordan Matthews shines in second preseason game

Friday, August 15, 2014, 11:25pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

After an inconsistent performance with several drops at Chicago, Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews came back to catch nine passes for 104 yards. Matthews, a second-round pick from Vanderbilt, showed tremendous poise in his second preseason game.

Fantasy Impact:
Matthews saw extra snaps thanks to injuries to Jeremy Maclin (hamstring) and Riley Cooper (foot). His snaps are going to be limited if everyone is healthy, but that's proving to be difficult for the team's starting receivers. He's an upside pick in the later rounds, but he may not play starter's snaps right away (or even this season).

Jaguars WR Marqise Lee posts 4-27-1 line against the Bears

Friday, August 15, 2014, 7:49pm

The Florida Times-Union - [Full Article]

Jaguars rookie receiver Marqise Lee was basically invisible in the preseason opener against Tampa Bay on Aug. 8.

He was anything but against Chicago on Thursday night at Soldier Field. The second-round pick caught four passes in the first three possessions of the game. Lee finished with 27 yards and scored on a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chad Henne.

Fantasy Impact:
Lee figures to start opposite the (currently injured) Cecil Shorts, and should make an immediate impact for a team desperate for playmakers in the passing game. His ADP is currently sitting in the 14th round, but will likely rise after Thursday's performance.

Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (quad) out again

Friday, August 15, 2014, 7:38pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was a question mark going into last week’s preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks, and he’s a question mark going into Sunday’s preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Sanders, who had sat out Monday’s practice before participating in Tuesday’s and Thursday’s work, was held out of Friday’s morning practice with a thigh injury.

Fantasy Impact:
Sanders was the #35 WR in 2013, when he saw WR2 targets (112) for the Steelers. Eric Decker (138) and Wes Welker (111) saw a combined 249 targets as Denver's WR2 and WR3. With Decker gone, Welker (and TE Julius Thomas) could see a bit more work, but Sanders should be stepping into a big role. As OC Adam Gase said, Sanders is a good fit for his system and is versatile to play both inside and outside. He is very quick and is adept at making people miss, so he should thrive in Denver’s screen game. Quad injuries usually aren't a big deal; we expect he'll get some rest and be ready to go later in camp.

Friday, August 15, 2014, 7:36pm - [Full Article]

K Graham Gano, who sat out the Panthers' preseason opener with a sore back, made it look easy last year when he was a consistent weapon in his first full season with Carolina. Now, after signing a four-year contract extension in the offseason, Gano is poised to pick up where he left off when the Panthers host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.

Dwayne Bowe's suspension could lead to his release

Friday, August 15, 2014, 7:33pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

The one-game suspension of Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe could, in hindsight, become the domino that ultimately gives the Browns a replacement for Josh Gordon.

The suspension most likely voids the remaining fully guaranteed money in Bowe’s contract: $8.75 million in 2014 and $1.5 million in 2015. It creates a window for the Chiefs to dump Bowe, avoiding more than $10 million and creating an immediate $8.75 million in 2014 cap space. (The extra cap space now would almost entirely offset the $9 million cap charge they’d take in 2015, due to the post-June 1 move.)

Unless Bowe’s contract specifically was negotiated to remove now-standard language voiding future guarantees in the event of a suspension, the Chiefs could make a move at any point after Bowe’s one-week exile begins, but before the moment that his salary becomes guaranteed as “termination pay,” a benefit for all players with four or more years of service who are on a team’s Week One roster.

If Bowe is cut, he’d become a free agent. And if Browns receiver Josh Gordon is suspended for a full year, Cleveland would have a clear need at receiver.

Fantasy Impact:
This is speculation, but interesting nonetheless. The Chiefs fancy themselves a Super Bowl contender, and cutting their WR1 -- no matter how much he's being overpaid -- may be a tough pill to swallow given the current state of the receiving corps. Still, potential Bowe owners should be aware of all of the possibilities. Long term, it might be the best move for the Chiefs to part ways.

Friday, August 15, 2014, 7:23pm - [Full Article]

Giants RB Andre Williams, the 2013 Heisman Trophy finalist out of Boston College, has made quite a one-two punch with Rashad Jennings and is looking like he could be more than a fourth-round draft pick. Williams is averaging nearly six yards per rush with a long of 21 yards and a three-yard touchdown run in the Hall of Fame Game. “I think he’s running hard,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “He’s picked up the offense quickly for a rookie and understands all his routes and blocking assignments and run techniques.”

Passing game a work in progress for Redskins RB Alfred Morris

Friday, August 15, 2014, 7:22pm

Washington Post - [Full Article]

Redskins RB Alfred Morris dropped two passes, the second of which came while being covered by Adam Hayward. Morris had position on Hayward, but couldn’t hold onto the ball. Hayward called out, “You don’t even have to cover this guy. He can’t catch!” Morris got in extra pass-catching work later in practice while the special teams segments were going on.

Fantasy Impact:
Clearly, Morris's hands are still a work in progress. He has been climbing in our rankings since he looks like one of the safer running backs available in the 3rd round, but his upside is limited in PPR formats due to his to-this-point non-existent role in the passing game.