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Schefter: Bills QB A.J. McCarron to return to practice soon

Monday, August 20, 2018, 7:19pm

Adam Schefter on Twitter - [Full Article]

Bills QB AJ McCarron is expected to return to practice soon, per source. So another twist to the Bills’ QB competition.

Related players: Josh Allen, Nathan Peterman

Fantasy Impact:

Apparently McCarron does not have a broken collarbone as reports said following last week's game. The Bills did say recently McCarron was getting a second opinion and that tests were inconclusive. It has been a strange and complicated QB competition and rotation, according to those who follow the team. Allen will start this week's game for the Bills and was looking to be the favorite to be the team's starter for Week 1 when McCarron was going to miss time.

Browns rule out WR Josh Gordon for Thursday night

Monday, August 20, 2018, 7:10pm - [Full Article]

Hue Jackson has ruled Josh Gordon out of Thursday night's dress rehearsal game against the Eagles at FirstEnergy Stadium.

"No, Josh is not playing this Thursday night. No,'' Jackson said. "That's for sure."

Fantasy Impact:

Gordon returned from his treatment program at the University of Florida, but hasn't yet been cleared to practice. His return to the field will be a collaborative decision on the part of his medical team, the NFL, the Browns and Gordon. He's currently on the active/non-football injury list, which permits him to attend meetings and conditioning sessions, but not practice.

Panthers TE Ian Thomas getting noticed this summer

Monday, August 20, 2018, 7:08pm

Fox Sports - [Full Article]

The Panthers are beginning to feel like they have hit on something big with fourth-round draft pick Ian Thomas.

The rookie tight end has carried over an outstanding performance in training camp to the preseason, where he showed an impressive burst of speed on a 27-yard catch-and-run touchdown reception from Cam Newton, and delivered a powerful seal block that helped spring Christian McCaffrey for a 71-yard touchdown in Friday night’s preseason win over the Miami Dolphins.

Related players: Greg Olsen

Fantasy Impact:

After not getting a ton of receptions at Indiana, Carolina’s scouts became convinced Thomas has what it takes to be a playmaker, and general manager Marty Hurney was sold on him as he studied more film. Olsen is still the guy in Carolina but after missing time last year the Panthers acquired a young player at the position who looks like he could eventually make an impact.

Sebastian Janikowski wins Seahawks kicking job

Monday, August 20, 2018, 5:38pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Sebastian Janikowski has won the Seahawks’ kicking competition.

Related players: Jason Myers

Fantasy Impact:

The story said the team cut Myers, leaving Janikowski as the only kicker on the roster.

Browns again say QB Baker Mayfield won't get first-team reps

Monday, August 20, 2018, 5:36pm - [Full Article]

Hue Jackson emphatically re-iterated Monday that Baker Mayfield won't get any first-team reps this preseason.

"No, no, no, no, no,'' he said. "Everybody's asked me that a ton of times. Why? I'm going to tell you the reason why. We are learning a new system, and I think Tyrod Taylor needs every rep that he can get with the ones."

Fantasy Impact:

Jackson say he thinks Mayfield is doing an outstanding job with the twos so far in camp, but right now it continues to be Taylor's job.

Report: At least two teams interested in Jets QB Teddy Bridgewater

Monday, August 20, 2018, 4:27pm

New York Daily News - [Full Article]

Teddy Bridgewater’s days with the Jets might be coming to end.

The Daily News has learned that at least two teams have expressed interest in trading for Bridgewater. The News reported two weeks ago that Gang Green has made it clear to teams across the league that they’re amenable to dealing the quarterback for the right price.

Related players: Sam Darnold, Josh McCown

Fantasy Impact:

There have been no concrete offers as of yet but "many teams have inquired," the story said. The piece added Bridgewater has been impressive his first two preseason games, but it appears the Jets are going with Darnold to begin the season. The Jets see this as win-win: A chance to get something in return and a way to give Bridgwater a better opportunity. The story speculated the Broncos, Patriots and Dolphins could have interest in improving their backup QB position.

Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas back at practice

Monday, August 20, 2018, 4:18pm

Troy Renck on Twitter - [Full Article]

Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas practicing Monday.

Fantasy Impact:

Thomas injured his wrist last week and was a bit of surprise inactive on Saturday in the team's preseason game. The injury didn't seem too concerning and his return is good news for potential owners. We have Thomas ranked as our No. 17 WR.

Redskins sign RB Adrian Peterson

Monday, August 20, 2018, 2:51pm

Mike Garafolo on Twitter - [Full Article]

Redskins are signing RB Adrian Peterson, sources tell me.

Related players: Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley, Byron Marshall, Samaje Perine

Fantasy Impact:

Once he arrived in Arizona, Peterson carried the ball 129 times for 448 yards and 2 touchdowns. That works out to 3.5 yards per carry (YPC), which was well off his career 4.8 YPC average. He did get a major workload, garnering an average of 23.0 touches in six games with the Cardinals. Washington’s interest in signing a running back was obviously prompted by the injury to Derrius Guice, but it’s unclear where Peterson will fit on the team’s depth chart, at least initially. Will a 33-year-old Peterson be a better option than a 25-year-old Rob Kelly or a soon-to-be 23-year-old Samaje Perine? Time will tell, but at first glance, neither of the younger players impressed in 2017 and Peterson proved during his stint with the Cardinals that he could still carry the load, albeit inefficiently. He’s not much of a threat in the receiving game, so this signing should only impact Chris Thompson’s carries, not his catches. Thompson’s role should be relatively secure heading into the regular season.

Our rankings have been updated but Kelley, Peterson and Perine are all just speculative picks at this point until a frontrunner emerges.

Eagles QB Carson Wentz still says it will be 'close' on decision to start Week 1

Monday, August 20, 2018, 12:57pm - [Full Article]

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz returned to 11-on-11 drills for the first time since July 28, and just the second time overall since he suffered a torn ACL in December.

Monday, Wentz spoke to the media for the first time since his return.

"Really same as last week, it’s gonna be close. Nothing’s really changed from last week other than the 11 on 11 practice. The final hurdle, which won’t be my decision, will be being cleared for contact," Wentz said.

Fantasy Impact:

Wentz said he won't play in Week 3 of the preseason and didn't commit to Week 4, which also seems unlikely. It does seem the team is pretty happy with what they have seen from Wentz so far in camp. The writer did say Wentz looks to be on track for Week 1, but he wouldn't be shocked if he's delayed until Week 2.

Jets GM: QB Sam Darnold is 'unflappable'

Monday, August 20, 2018, 12:51pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan offered his take Monday on the team's quarterback competition, gushing about rookie Sam Darnold and all but confirming he's open to trading Teddy Bridgewater.

Maccagnan, in an interview with New York radio station WFAN, said he's "exceptionally impressed" with Darnold, describing the former USC star as "unflappable."

Related players: Josh McCown

Fantasy Impact:

These were the GM's first public comments on the three-way quarterback battle involving Darnold, Bridgewater and McCown, the story said. It's been speculated Jets higher-ups want to roll with Darnold while HC Todd Bowles may have been leaning toward one of the veteran QBs to win games and potentially save his job. Maccagnan pretty much confirmed in the story the team is open to trading one of the veteran QBs. It sure seems like Darnold is going to open the season as the Jets' starting QB.

Vikings release K Kai Forbath

Monday, August 20, 2018, 12:42pm - [Full Article]

The Vikings made a handful of roster moves on Monday, including the release of kicker Kai Forbath.

Forbath, who had been with the Vikings since November of 2016, made 47 of his 53 career field goals with Minnesota. He was 45 on 53 extra points during that time.

Related players: Daniel Carlson

Fantasy Impact:

Forbath had been battling the rookie Carlson for the starting job. Forbath made one of two field goal attempts against the Jaguars, making a 44-yard try but hitting the right upright on a 41-yard try. Carlson was a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Auburn.

Buccaneers Beat: RB Peyton Barber continues to look like starting back

Monday, August 20, 2018, 12:39pm - [Full Article]

When the Bucs used a second-round draft pick in April on flash-and-dash Southern Cal running back Ronald Jones, it was reasonable to think the third-year pro from Auburn, Peyton Barber, would let him go to the front of the line.

Instead, Barber announced that if somebody wanted the ball, they would have to take it from him.

It's not boasting if you can back it up, and Barber is backing it up.

One guy who doesn't sound like he needs any more convincing is coach Dirk Koetter. When asked if Barber is performing like the starting running back, Koetter said yes.

"That's exactly what he should be doing. He only had (six) carries (Saturday) night, but he averaged over five yards a carry (5.3). He had an explosive run," Koetter said.

Fantasy Impact:

This is at least the second story we've seen that Barber is out-performing Jones through camp. The writer said if Barber keeps it up, he'll be starting at New Orleans on Sept. 9. Barber did say he and Jones are a potential one-two punch with Barber likely taking on the role as the strong, inside runner. The story said expect Barber to shoulder more of the load early on, perhaps until Jones gets up to speed, especially in the passing game.

Broncos RB Royce Freeman's playing time could depend on blocking

Monday, August 20, 2018, 10:07am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Through Denver's two preseason games, Royce Freeman is the team's leading rusher, with 58 yards in limited duty. He also has the team's only two rushing touchdowns of the preseason.

He has shown vision, power and speed, but on two separate occasions in recent days, Broncos coach Vance Joseph finished a sentence about Freeman with “but we’ll see how he does in protections."

“I know that, too," Freeman said. “ ... It’s all technique, and I feel like it's just repetitions, repetitions. You can always polish things up. You can always be a little bit better at something. I feel like maybe you don’t get it right on the first time, but you keep doing it and doing it. It’s a big thing."

Related players: Devontae Booker

Fantasy Impact:

As Case Keenum put it in the story, the back is often the last line of defense, so any RB needs to be able to pass protect to remain on the field. It sounds like Freeman is picking things up according to another quote from Keenum in the story. We certainly see Freeman having the fantasy edge over Booker but it seems like Booker will get his share of work this season as well. We rank Freeman as our No. 29 RB.

Cardinals Christian Kirk battling for WR2 spot

Monday, August 20, 2018, 9:53am - [Full Article]

The Arizona Cardinals' search for a No. 2 wide receiver opposite Larry Fitzgerald is getting interesting.

Rookie Christian Kirk has turned heads. His four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown performance in Friday night's 20-15 preseason win over the New Orleans Saints coincides with Kirk's objective to make an immediate impact.

Fantasy Impact:

Kirk is a second-round pick and is noted for his route-running skills. The Cards are looking for a No. 2 WR option to pair with Larry Fitzgerald, but as the story noted, Kirk did his damage out of the slot on Friday, catching a 13-yard TD.

Bills RB LeSean McCoy (groin) not practicing Monday

Monday, August 20, 2018, 9:49am

Sal Capaccio on Twitter - [Full Article]

Bills RB LeSean McCoy has a sore groin and is not practicing today.

Fantasy Impact:

We're going to assume this isn't a big deal but certainly something to keep an eye on going forward. McCoy has fallen down our RB list to 26th because of the July 10 accusations of domestic violence. We continue to recommend a hands-off approach, at least until the middle rounds.