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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Related players: AJ McCarron
On Sunday, Peterman led the first team and Allen the second team. McDermott said it’s a rotation, Rodak continued in his tweet. The injury to McCarron (shoulder) seems more likely to open the door for Allen at this point, but the Bills QB rotation so far in camp has been a strange one, according to those who follow the team.
Reports last week said Burkhead had a tear in his knee but it looks like he's going to be able to play through the injury. Burkhead is our No. 20 ranked RB in PPR leagues. His ADP is two-to-three rounds after guys like Joe Mixon and Lamar Miller, who are ranked close to Burkhead, so he's a potentially great value in drafts.
Ingram will serve a four-game suspension to start the season for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. From watching training camp and the first two preseason games, it seems the Saints are preparing Ingram just as they would if he were available for the start of the season.
Ingram had seven carries in each of the first two preseason games, a stark contrast to 2017 when he had four total in the entire preseason with all coming in the third exhibition.
While Kamara should get a heavy workload with Ingram out, the story said HC Sean Payton always likes to use multiple backs, so chances are someone else could emerge and have fantasy value while Ingram is suspended.
HC Sean McDermott said he could not provide an update on McCarron because tests on his right shoulder were not “totally conclusive.” Other reports say it was a broken collarbone. The injury opens the door for Allen to perhaps win the starting job.
Though Carson Wentz has not yet been cleared for full contact, he'll "jump back into some team drills" Sunday, according to HC Doug Pederson. In doing so, he'll split first-team reps with Nick Foles, who will practice despite suffering a shoulder strain Thursday. Wentz recently acknowledged that his Week 1 availability will be a close call, but the franchise signal-caller continues to progress well and his status for the Eagles' opener ultimately figures to be determined by the team's medical staff.
It's looking like both QBs will be good to go for Week 1 at this point, and if that's the case, Wentz will get the nod. Wentz isn't expected to play in the preseason. Foles' preseason shoulder injury obviously wasn't all that serious
Cimini said it seems obvious Darnold will start this week's preseason game based on all of his reps. He thinks the only way things change is if Darnold regresses against the Giants.
NFL teams have no obligation to disclose injury information during the preseason. The Broncos opted to do so on Saturday night, in connection with the fact that veteran receiver Demaryius Thomas did not play.
“He’s got a sore wrist,” coach Vance Joseph told reporters after the game. “It happened in practice I think on Thursday and he couldn’t go tonight.”
The story went on to speculate Thomas could end up being the subject of trade talks, mostly because the team has a group of very young receivers in Sutton, Hamilton and Henderson they seem to feel pretty good about. The injury doesn't appear to be serious.
"There's a chance,'' coach Hue Jackson said on a conference call Saturday. "Obviously, we're just going to take it one step at a time. His focus is going to be on meetings and conditioning, and then we'll just kind of go from there. Hopefully, we can get him up and running by the first game."
The story said Gordon returned to the Browns on Saturday from a treatment program at the University of Florida. He was subsequently placed on the active/non-football injury list. It means he can start practicing as soon as his medical team gives him the green light. In the meantime, he can attend meetings and conditioning sessions. The story went on to say an NFL spokesman said there is no timetable for the next steps.
Shaheen had to be carted off but seems fortunate it's not a more serious injury. Rapoport added more tests are coming, but if everything holds, he wouldn’t be ruled out to play Week 1.
Josh Gordon issued a statement on Twitter, saying in part:
"As I humbly return to being a member of this team with an opportunity to get back to playing this game I love, I realize in order for me to reach my full potential my primary focus must remain on my sobriety and mental well-being. Let's get to work!"
UPDATE via Tom Pelissero: "Since #Brown WR Josh Gordon is still in jointly negotiated substance abuse program, he’s subject to certain conditions. Per @NFLprguy: “This part of the process. Can attend meetings, do conditioning. Can go to practice but not participate. No timetable on next step.”
Josh Gordon has faced a long road to get back. He played five games last season but then was not present to this point for the start of Browns camp and the preseason. In his return last season after about three years away from the NFL, Gordon played the final five weeks of the regular season. He averaged 11.5 PPR points per game, WR26 over that span (Week 13-17) on a per game basis. Jarvis Landry will eat into his target share undoubtedly, and Gordon's ADP remains in the fourth-to-fifth-round range. You're paying for closer to his ceiling at that price with a low floor.
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