The Boston Herald's Jeff Howe reported Thursday that Dobson traveled with the Patriots and is expected to make his preseason debut tonight against the New York Giants. It's uncertain how much playing time Dobson will see.
A return to action is the first step as Dobson tries to regain his footing as one of the Patriots' starting outside receivers. He's battling Kenbrell Thompkins and Brandon LaFell, both of whom have the early leg up. Dobson performed well down the stretch last season and possesses a brand of speed the Pats are currently lacking in the passing game.
As a rookie, Dobson caught a respectable 37 passes for 519 yards and four touchdowns, but he flashed some big play ability in his 5-130-2 outing against the Steelers in early November. His FP/T (1.05) was average, but if he can beat out Brandon LaFell and Kenbrell Thompkins for a starting job, he should produce with Tom Brady throwing the ball. He only played 63% of the snaps as a rookie.
WR Stephen Hill not only doesn't play special teams, he also did not impress very much this summer. Couple those factors with Rex Ryan's lukewarm comments about Hill on Tuesday, and you have a second-round draft pick who isn't going to make it into this third season with the Jets.
The Jets famously took Hill two picks ahead of Alshon Jeffery. Now it looks like Hill may get cut.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:24pm
The Giants are looking for playmakers at the wide receiver position. Fourth-quarter preseason star Corey Washington could get a chance to show what he can do earlier in the game. Veteran Mario Manningham has this one final chance to prove he's healthy and explosive enough on the outside to merit a roster spot. Jerrel Jernigan has been coasting through camp as a guy who assumes he has a roster spot locked up, but the Giants would very much like to see him perform the way he did last December, even for one drive. Lots still to sort out at these positions with a week and a half to go.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:23pm
Saints beat writer Mike Triplett: The only camp battle that can truly be influenced by Thursday night's performances is the kicker battle. It’s close enough that a bad night could doom either guy (Shayne Graham or Derek Dimke).
Owners should keep this in mind during their drafts, especially if their leagues don't allow a waiver pickup prior to Week 1.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:20pm
The 49ers brought back Brandon Lloyd this offseason. They also acquired Stevie Johnson and drafted Bruce Ellington. And Quinton Patton has flashed this offseason. So who is in line to be the 49ers' No. 3 receiver, behind starters Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree? The position seemed earmarked for Johnson but he did not get much run in the third preseason game. The 49ers may use this game to get a better feel on their third receiver, even if Kaepernick is long gone from the game and Blaine Gabbert and Josh Johnson are the ones throwing the ball. In any event, coach Jim Harbaugh said he felt "very good" about Stevie Johnson being on the 49ers' 53-man roster.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:19pm
The Bears' WR3 competition remains in the forefront as the team hopes to take one last look at Josh Morgan and Santonio Holmes, who should now be a little more comfortable with the offense. Morgan caught three of the five balls thrown his way last week against Seattle for 48 yards, while Holmes hauled in one pass for 7 yards. Morgan has shown he’s perfectly capable of handling the No. 3 job while Marquess Wilson continues to heal from a fractured clavicle. Holmes could potentially add a dynamic element in the slot.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:18pm
Titans K Maikon Bonani and Travis Coons get their final chance to seize the kicker job. One of them is expected to be cut Friday or Saturday. But both could be if the Titans decide to move on to a veteran after looking at three on Wednesday. Bonani needs to show accuracy with his big leg and produce touchbacks. Coons needs to show more leg, putting kickoffs higher and deeper.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:17pm
One Jet who will play is wide receiver Stephen Hill, and his job appears to be on the line. The former second-round draft pick, a major disappointment in his first two years with the team, has just two catches for 29 yards in three preseason games. Fellow wideouts Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson are locks to make the final roster, and coach Rex Ryan talked up Greg Salas and Saalim Hakim on Tuesday, and fourth-round pick Jalen Saunders is currently tabbed as the team's No. 1 punt returner. Hill better make some plays Thursday, or else his Jets career could be over.
Texans beat writer John McClain: I predict Foster rushes for more than 100 yards against Wash and finishes with more than 1,400 yards and 15 TDs, with at least 60 catches.
McClain's prediction equates to 230 fantasy points in standard formats. We're close on the yardage and receptions, but we're not as optimistic about the number of touchdowns he'll score. We just don't see the Texans moving the ball well enough to facilitate 15 touchdowns for Foster. We predict he'll score about half that number. For Foster to hit McClain's projections, he'll have to stay fully healthy, and that is far from a sure thing.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:07pm
Browns WRs Miles Austin, Andrew Hawkins, and Travis Benjamin are locks, while Nate Burleson is too valuable to release after Josh Gordon was suspended for the season by the NFL. Charles Johnson is attempting to hang onto his job under heavy pushes from undrafted rookies Taylor Gabriel and Willie Snead, with Marlon Moore a longshot.
Johnson has gotten a bit of hype as a potential sleeper with Josh Gordon out, but he's still fighting for a roster spot.
Griffin's transition from gimmick offense to pocket passer was fully expected to feature a few bumps in the road. What has had us concerned since the preseason opener, though, is that the bad habits in his footwork and throwing motion seem to have carried over from last season's return from ACL surgery.
Appearing on The Herd with Colin Cowherd this week, ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski confirmed, after watching hours of preseason film, that Griffin's mechanics have regressed.
"They have regressed in the fundamental way of throwing the football," Jaworski said, via The Washington Post. "His throwing slot, his footwork, his inability to remain consistent in that."
We've been on the low side on Griffin for the entire offseason due to minor concerns about the knee and moderate concerns about the installation of a new offense. He has a very good receiving corps, and may very well work out his preseason issues during the regular season, but it's tough to draft him over (seemingly) more reliable options like Russell Wilson, Jay Cutler and Colin Kaepernick.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 9:33pm
While the Panthers are in Pittsburgh on Thursday night for their final exhibition, tight end Greg Olsen will be at Levine Children’s Hospital watching over his son’s recovery from open-heart surgery this week.
T.J. Olsen, born in 2012 with a congenital heart defect, is recovering from Monday’s four-hour surgery, the last of three scheduled procedures for the tight end’s son.
If T.J. continues to progress well, Olsen will rejoin the team next week and play in the season opener Sept. 7 at Tampa Bay.
“A lot depends on his recovery status,” Olsen said Wednesday in a text message. “But he’s doing well now, so hope that continues.”
“So far so good,” Olsen added. “It’s just a long recovery. We knew that going in.”
It sounds like things are progressing nicely for Olsen and his son and the hope is that continues. Obviously Olsen will put his son's health ahead of a football game, but from a fantasy perspective it's something to keep an eye on...
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 8:44pm
"Everything Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant have done for us is exactly what we're looking for," Rivera said. "We're looking for very consistent football players who run good routes and know where they need to be. They can handle things and control things in the classroom and on the field, and that's what those two guys bring to the table."
In three preseason games, Cotchery has just one catch for eight yards and Avant has one reception for 25 yards.
"Go back and look at the targets – that's the biggest thing," Rivera said.
Cotchery has been targeted just three times and Avant only two.
All that said, Cotchery cautioned those who read too much into preseason production.
"I don't put too much stock in it as far as what your numbers look like, because I've seen guys catch 100 yards every game in the preseason and then in the regular season you wonder where the production is," Cotchery said. "For that matter, (preseason) is a focus of just getting better individually and staying on top of your assignments."
Carolina's WRs are a big question mark coming into the season. WR1 Kelvin Benjamin has looked good but is a rookie. Cotchery quietly had 10 TDs last season and Avant has very good hands as a slot receiver. But Newton has been banged up with ankle and rib issues, and as the story points out, there wasn't a lot of live work in the preseason games. Benjamin is a sleeper-type addition later in fantasy drafts and Newton's stock has fallen a bit to a lower-end QB1 with now some injury issues.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 8:38pm
Yet with starting quarterback Matt Schaub sitting out Thursday night's game against the Seattle Seahawks at O.co Coliseum with a sore right elbow, the Raiders quarterback of the future can speed up that process in front of a home fan base that is embracing his candidacy through social media.
Carr could get extended work and a chance to make another good impression if Schaub continues to struggle or not be able to play due to his elbow. Carr, a second-round draft pick out of Fresno State, appears firmly entrenched as the backup even though second-year player Matt McGloin has put up the best numbers, albeit against mostly third-team competition.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 8:34pm
Heading into his 11th NFL season, Cards WR Larry Fitzgerald brushes aside suggestions that his best days are behind him.
"I think it's funny people assume I actually listen to anything anybody says," he said. "The only thing you can control in life is your effort. I give my best effort every single day and try to improve my craft."
And he still figures prominently in the team's plans for the coming season.
"I don't think anybody's the same at 30 as you were at 20," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. "You're a lot more experienced so you should be able to play faster — mentally."
When Arians took over a year ago, Arians moved Fitzgerald to the slot, putting big, young, athletic Michael Floyd at wideout.
"There comes a point in time in your career that if you want to continue to have success and get a lot of balls," Arians said, "then you've got to stretch your envelope a little bit."
Fitz is ranked 17th among our WRs and after a disappointing season in 2012, he bounced back nicely in 2013. He's not the top-five WR he once was in terms of fantasy numbers, but he can certainly be a worthy WR2 and he continues to look good with Carson Palmer at QB.