Healthy Geno Smith making up ground; Bruce Arians praises one, scolds another

by KFFL Staff on August 22, 2013 @ 08:33:55 PDT



QB | Robert Griffin III | Washington Redskins | Injury, Fantasy
Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (knee) worked against the first-team defense for the first time in a full practice Wednesday, Aug. 21. He took 49 snaps against the scout team defense last week.

This is certainly a positive step for Griffin and the team, and a very good sign for his fantasy owners. It is looking increasingly likely that Griffin will be ready for the regular season opener.

QB | Geno Smith | New York Jets | Fantasy
New York Jets QB Geno Smith had a great practice Wednesday, Aug. 21, going 15-for-16 in 11-on-11 drills with two touchdowns. "It wasn't brutal that's for sure," head coach Rex Ryan said in reference to Smith's performance. "That was a great day; I don't know if that was his best day because he's had a lot of good ones but he had a great one today." He was in total command and had some success against the first-team defense. QB Mark Sanchez went 10-for-14 with a touchdown but also took three sacks. Ryan has yet to name a starter for the team's preseason game Saturday, Aug. 24.

Smith is hanging around in the quarterback competition now that he over his ankle injury. We still expect Sanchez to begin the season as the starter, but this isn't a lock by any means. Don't look to take either QB on draft day, though.

Running Back

RB | Keiland Williams | Washington Redskins | Injury, Fantasy
Washington Redskins RB Keiland Williams (knee) missed practice Wednesday, Aug. 21, due to a knee injury.

RB | Arian Foster | Houston Texans | Injury, Fantasy
Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (back, calf) said Wednesday, Aug. 21, that he will be ready for the regular season opener Monday, Sept. 9, against the San Diego Chargers. "Yeah, I'll be ready," Foster said.

Foster remains a bona fide first-round fantasy draft pick, but selecting him comes with some risk considering his recent injury history. You might want to snag Ben Tate in the middle rounds, perhaps even a round or two earlier than his average draft position (ADP) of the eighth round, just to make sure you have Foster's backup.

RB | Travaris Cadet | New Orleans Saints | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
New Orleans Saints RB Travaris Cadet fumbled twice in the preseason game against the Oakland Raiders Friday, Aug. 16, and he drew the ire of head coach Sean Payton. "That just can't happen," Payton said. Cadet is battling RB Khiry Robinson for the fourth tailback job behind RBs Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles.

RB | Joe McKnight | New York Jets | Injury, Fantasy
New York Jets RB Joe McKnight (head) went through a full-contact practice Wednesday, Aug. 21, for the second consecutive day. "Right now, the last two days he's been out there full pads that's good to see," head coach Rex Ryan said.

RB | Danny Woodhead | San Diego Chargers | Injury, Fantasy
San Diego Chargers RB Danny Woodhead (undisclosed) will be available to play in the team's third preseason game.

RB | Darren McFadden | Oakland Raiders | Fantasy
Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson said OT Jared Veldheer's (triceps) injury will affect how he uses RB Darren McFadden and FB Marcel Reece this season.

RB | Lamar Miller | Miami Dolphins | Fantasy
The Miami Dolphins are not naming a starting running back between RBs Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas just two weeks from Week 1. Both Miller and Thomas took first-team snaps during 11-on-11 drills Wednesday, Aug. 21, and Miller had nine snaps with the first-team offense Monday, Aug. 19. Thomas hasn't started a game in the preseason but got 12 snaps Monday and is pushing for the starting job. "They're both very young. They don't have a lot of snaps in them just yet. But they both have a chance to be good running backs in this league and see how far they can go. I'd rather have two good ones than one, put it that way." Miller has failed to separate himself from Thomas and prove he deserves the job. Miller fumbled in the preseason opener and dropped a crucial third-down pass last weekend.

It's disappointing to see that Miller has yet to separate himself from Thomas, who has been injury-prone and has had fumblitis in his young career. Miller was going as a No. 2 RB earlier this summer. That's quickly changing since he's not even a lock now to be the lead back. Both running backs are probably sketchy RB3s at this current juncture.

RB | Latavius Murray | Oakland Raiders | Injury, Fantasy
Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (ankle) had his ankle scoped Tuesday, Aug. 20.

It's unknown how long he'll be out. Stay tuned for more information on his timetable to return to the field.

RB | Le'Veon Bell | Pittsburgh Steelers | Injury, Fantasy
Updating previous report, Doctors are expecting Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell (foot) to miss six to eight weeks because of a Lisfranc injury. The hope is that rest will allow Bell to play this season.

It looks like Bell will miss at least most of the first half of the regular season, if not more. Owners should not consider Bell as more as a late-round flier because of the injury.

RB | Delone Carter | Baltimore Ravens | Transaction, Fantasy
The Baltimore Ravens have acquired RB Delone Carter from the Indianapolis Colts for WR David Reed.

Carter's move to the Ravens does not change his fantasy value much. He should not be taken in drafts but could be a waiver wire target if Ray Rice or Bernard Pierce is injured during the season.

RB | Trent Richardson | Cleveland Browns | Injury, Fantasy
Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski said most of the starters will play into the third quarter during the team's third preseason game, but RB Trent Richardson (shin) will be one of the players that comes out earlier.

RB | Lex Hilliard | New York Jets | Injury, Fantasy
New York Jets RB Lex Hilliard (shoulder) was placed on the season-ending Injured Reserve list Wednesday, Aug. 21, due to a fractured shoulder blade, a source confirmed. Hilliard will have surgery next week to repair the shoulder.

RB | Ryan Williams | Arizona Cardinals | Injury, Fantasy
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians expressed frustration Wednesday, Aug. 21, with RB Ryan Williams (knee). "He needs to start playing," Arians said. "I can't evaluate him unless he plays." Arians cited that Williams has "an excellent OTAs" and was "cutting, running" and then just put the brakes on."

Williams has so much upside, presumably, but he hasn't been healthy enough during his time in the NFL to provide much more than a glimpse. For fantasy purposes, he should be avoided in all leagues until he gets on the field and can prove his worth. It's uncertain when that time will actually come.

Wide Receiver

WR | Michael Floyd | Arizona Cardinals | Fantasy
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said WR Michael Floyd has drastically improved in camp. "He has improved dramatically from the first minicamp to now," Arians said. "Route running, his understanding of concepts, hot (reads), the whole package."

He has "breakout candidate" written all over him.

WR | Hakeem Nicks | New York Giants | Fantasy
New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks had arguably his best day in camp Wednesday, Aug. 21.

WR | Leonard Hankerson | Washington Redskins | Injury, Fantasy
Washington Redskins WRs Leonard Hankerson (knee) and Aldrick Robinson (thigh) each returned to the practice field Wednesday, Aug. 21.

WR | Donte' Stallworth | Washington Redskins | Injury, Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Washington Redskins WR Donte' Stallworth (hamstring) returned to practice Wednesday, Aug. 21. He is likely battling WR Dezmon Briscoe for the sixth receiver job.

WR | Jerrel Jernigan | New York Giants | Injury, Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
With New York Giants WRs Victor Cruz (heel), Ramses Barden (knee) and Louis Murphy (undisclosed) sidelined due to injuries, WR Jerrel Jernigan is getting plenty of reps in practice. He might be used as the slot receiver while Cruz recovers from his heel injury.

WR | Chris Hogan | Buffalo Bills | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Buffalo Bills WR Chris Hogan appears to have moved up the depth chart, past WRs Marcus Easley, Brandon Kaufman and Da'Rick Rogers, to move on to the roster bubble. Footwork and consistency is key with Hogan, and those are what have gotten him into a favorable light with the coaching staff.

WR | Greg Little | Cleveland Browns | Fantasy
Cleveland Browns WR Greg Little was stopped for going 81 miles per hour in a 60 mile per hour zone Monday, Aug. 19, according to the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department. It isn't the first time Little has run afoul of the traffic law, as he lost control of his car in April and hit a guardrail and knocked down a light pole. He was fined for that incident. Little is due in court Sept. 4 for his latest run-in.

WR | Tavon Austin | St. Louis Rams | Fantasy
St. Louis Rams WR Tavon Austin (personal) returned to practice Wednesday, Aug. 21.

WR | Malcom Floyd | San Diego Chargers | Injury, Fantasy
San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (knee) appears to be on schedule for the start of the regular season.

WR | Santonio Holmes | New York Jets | Injury, Fantasy
Updating a previous item, New York Jets WR Santonio Holmes (foot) still does not have a timetable to return to the field and is unlikely to be ready for Week 1. He's feeling pain in his foot every morning and said he'll have to continue to deal with the pain. "My main focus is to be as healthy as I can to perform at a level that is successful for the team and myself. I'm getting treatments everyday and not allowing myself to feel comfortable at any point with the success that I've made and the strides that I've made going forward," Holmes said.

WR | DeAndre Hopkins | Houston Texans | Injury, Fantasy
Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said WR DeAndre Hopkins (concussion) has not been ruled out for the team's third preseason game and is considered day-to-day. Kubiak said Hopkins is in stage one of the NFL's five-stage concussion protocol.

WR | A.J. Green | Cincinnati Bengals | Injury, Fantasy
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said WR A.J. Green (knee) will be ready to play in the team's third preseason game.

WR | Randall Cobb | Green Bay Packers | Injury, Fantasy
Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb (biceps) was limited during practice Wednesday, Aug. 21. Head coach Mike McCarthy said Cobb could play in the team's third preseason game.

WR | Marques Colston | New Orleans Saints | Injury, Fantasy
New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston (foot) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Aug. 21, after taking part in practice the previous two days.

WR | Martel Moore | Atlanta Falcons | Fantasy
Atlanta Falcons WR Martel Moore (rib) returned to practice Tuesday, Aug. 20.

WR | Kenbrell Thompkins | New England Patriots | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
New England Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins has played 29 snaps in two preseason games with QB Tom Brady. That is second-most on the team. It is unclear if Thompkins has the leg up for the No. 2 job, or whether the team is simply using the rookie to determine what they have in Thompkins.

Tight End

TE | Zach Sudfeld | New England Patriots | Fantasy
New England Patriots TE Zach Sudfeld looks like a lock to enter Week 1 as the team's No. 1 tight end if TE Rob Gronkowski (back, forearm) starts the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Sudfeld is 6-foot-7, 260 pounds, which is almost the exact same size as Gronkowski. Sudfeld caught a touchdown pass the team's preseason game last weekend in the red zone on a pattern that Gronkowski has run before. Sudfeld displayed nice run-after-the-catch skills on another play later in the same preseason game. TE Jake Ballard is healthy and has been consistent in camp, too, and his role as a hybrid tight end in the past is similar to Gronkowski.

Sudfeld is emerging as a sleeper candidate at tight end that's worth taking a shot on in the later rounds as a TE2. He's got a great QB throwing him passes in Tom Brady, and his size makes him a nice red zone target.

TE | Rob Housler | Arizona Cardinals | Fantasy
Arizona Cardinals TE Rob Housler has managed zero catches in two preseason games, and he has been targeted only once. However, he isn't concerned about his involvement so far. "I'm not worried about the numbers right now," Housler said Tuesday, Aug. 20. "I've never complained about targets or receptions. The outside perception may see the numbers and may see maybe a question mark there, but I don't."

Housler has been viewed as a deep sleeper for fantasy owners, but even at a shallow position, his average draft position (ADP) hasn't even made him a Top 20 option at TE. At this point, he should only be relied upon as a bye-week or injury replacement.

TE | Tony Gonzalez | Atlanta Falcons | Fantasy
Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith said Tuesday, Aug. 20, that TE Tony Gonzalez will work with the first-team offense and play extensively in his first preseason game Saturday, Aug. 24, against the Tennessee Titans. "Tony is in great shape like he always is," Smith said. "He'll play just like the rest of the starters. We're not going to have a specific number and say all starters are playing this number of snaps."

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