Thursday, August 6, 2009
News from around NFL training camps
Here's a quick rundown on the key developments thus far in the first week or so of training camps --
Derrick Mason has pulled a Favre and un-retired. Put him back in your WR rankings, even with a little boost because...
Mark Clayton is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a hamstring injury. Some will use this info to jump on Demetrius Williams. I prefer to stick with Mason, on the belief that no more than 1 Ravens WR will be worth rostering.
Bump DeSean Jackson up a bit in your rankings, as he is lighting up training camp thus far. The second-year player could be in for a very big year.
Falcons WR Harry Douglas had been looking good throughout the offseason, but he's just been lost for 2009 with a torn ACL. Michael Jenkins appears safe as the #2.
Meanwhile, Roddy White continues to hold out, and the acrimony is growing. Keep an eye on this. If it gets resolved in the next week or two, no worries. Beyond that, it could significantly interfere with his ability to rekindle his electricity with Matt Ryan.
Bengals TEs are dropping like flies. First, Reggie Kelly went on IR with a ruptured Achilles. Then, Ben Utecht (who once showed something as a Colt) suffered a concussion in practice. The most promising of the bunch, rookie Chase Coffman, has been slowed by a nagging foot injury. Look elsewhere for your TE help, but keep an eye on Coffman should he emerge as the starter.
Raiders WR Javon Walker has looked good in training camp; but don't let that fool you. The guy is way past his prime and will not be a consistent fantasy performer again.
Reggie Bush continues to limp his way through practice with a bum knee. Keep this in mind when you're staring at him on draft night...the man is a huge injury risk. Here we are a month before the season starts, following a full offseason, and he still can't get his knee right. Pierre Thomas should be gold this season.
Brian Westbrook is coming along nicely -- even ahead of schedule -- from his knee and ankle woes. I've seen him go as late as the mid-second round in early drafts. That's ludicrous. Westy remains a first-round talent, though you'd be wise to back him up with rookie RB LeSean McCoy, who has been faring well in Westbrook's absence.
Eli Manning just signed a six-year, $97 million contract extension, making him the highest paid player in the NFL. Sorry...this doesn't make any more sense to me than when Atlanta gave Michael Vick his massive contract a few years back. Eli now makes more than Peyton... Puh-leeze.
Amani Toomer is now a Chief. Feel free to forget about him.
Tarvaris Jackson has been missing valuable training camp reps due to a sprained knee. As I've said all along, the starting QB gig belongs to Sage Rosenfels. He just doesn't know it yet. Consider him a sleeper candidate with big potential should he learn to limit the turnovers.
The only Ravens RB you need to worry about is second-year man Ray Rice. He's been getting the bulk of the first-team reps in camp, and will be the lead man in the team's 3-headed RBBC. LeRon McClain may be a TD poacher, and Willis McGahee will have a decent game or two. But Rice is the man to own.
Caveat emptor on Jonathan Stewart. He's got a tender Achilles, which can't be a good thing for a RB. This is very good news for those banking on DeAngelo Williams having another bang-up season.
Rookies Michael Crabtree and Knowshon Moreno continue to hold out, and it's starting to get nasty. Crabtree even hinted today that he's willing to sit out the year and re-enter the draft in 2010 if that's what he has to do to get the contract he wants. Wow, that's not good. I won't be investing a mid-round pick on that guy.