Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bumps, bruises and wrist slaps from around the league

It's that time of year when players get nicked up, or worse, in training camp. We're keeping tabs on all the key developments for you, as the most current info can make or break your draft-day decisions...

The biggest news of the day comes out of Carolina, where Steve Smith was carted off the practice field with a shoulder injury. Though X-rays were negative, Smith is expected to miss at least a couple of preseason games. Hopefully this isn't the kind of injury that will bother him all season. Watch this one closely, as Smith is one of a select few elite WRs in the game.

Another top WR, Antonio Bryant, is having his knee scoped and will miss 3-4 weeks. Fantasy Fools know I've been down on Bryant all offseason -- he's been severely over-valued in early drafts -- and this just makes me even more pessimistic. This significantly boosts TE Kellen Winslow's value, however.

Two big-time WRs are firmly in their coaches' doghouse: Denver's Brandon Marshall and KC's Dwayne Bowe. Marshall has been doing his utmost to offend his coach, team and city over the past few months, so it's no surprise he has now been listed as a backup on the team's depth chart. Bowe, for his part, has shown up out-of-shape and is not "getting with the program," according to reports. He, too, is listed as a second-stringer.

Bowe will undoubtedly be in the starting lineup come Week 1, as he's sure to get the hint. Marshall? I'm not so sure about him. What I do know is that I love Eddie Royal's prospects more and more every day, and have listed him higher than Marshall in my initial WR rankings -- the only place you'll see that across the fantasy expert spectrum!

Yet another elite WR, Calvin Johnson (aka Megatron), is wearing a cast to protect the thumb he jammed in practice the other day. As long as he gets the cast off soon, and returns to practice, this will be a non-story by the time the season gets here.

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