The biggest news from today’s training camp comes from Seahawks camp and the injury status of rookie Rashaad Penny, so that’s where we’ll start as we take a look at the analysis of today’s news.
Here’s a quick look from a quiet Monday around the league:
– Saquon Barkley was the latest to suffer a leg injury although the Giants are calling it a mild hamstring strain. He was injured on a play trying to catch a downfield pass and was later seen with a wrap on the leg. For now owners shouldn’t worry but Barkley could be sidelined a few days this week and possibly Friday’s preseason game as a result.
– Rashaad Penny left practice early with an injury thought to be minor. Brian Schottenheimer said he doesn’t think it’s anything serious meaning this shouldn’t linger or cause any panic for his owners. However, Penny’s presence on the field is critical for him to make a push for the starting running back job which appears to be heading towards some kind of a timeshare between him and Chris Carson.
– The 49ers signed Alfred Morris (pending a physical) to add running back depth with both Matt Breida and Jerick McKinnon banged up. Morris averaged 4.8 yards per carry last season as a Cowboy but would need an injury to either one of his two new teammates to get any touches in the San Francisco offense. Morris once again in on a team coached by Kyle Shanahan, the two of whom are very familiar with each other from their days in Washington.
– Roquan Smith ended his holdout and signed a four-year deal Monday with the Bears. The deal is worth $18 million guaranteed with $11 million in bonuses. In case you haven’t seen him play, this guy is an absolute beast who will make an immediate impact in IDP leagues. This will help bolster a Bears defense that needs help if they plan on contending in the NFC North.
– In quarterback news it appears Chad Kelly has moved ahead of Paxton Lynch to the backup quarterback spot. Fans in Denver love Lynch so much someone started a GoFundMe page to buyout Lynch’s contract and drive him out of town. Sam Bradford is expected to play more than one series in New Orleans although Josh Rosen is expected to get a series with the first string as well. Right now Bradford appears to be the favorite to be under center Week 1 but there are several paths to Rosen finding playing time this season.
One of the most hyped fantasy prospects of the summer, McKinnon caused many people to hold their breath when he went down in practice Sunday — and probably no one more so than 49ers coaches who already are without Matt Breida’s services for a few weeks due to a separated shoulder. Thankfully, early reports revealed that McKinnon is only dealing with a calf strain and San Francisco is taking a week-by-week approach with him. With Breida also sidelined, though, we’re now going to get a good long look at Raheem Mostert, Joe Williams and Jeremy McNichols. Given the two-back system head coach Kyle Shanahan is expected to deploy, one of these guys could attain fantasy relevance if either McKinnon or Breida miss time during the regular season. In other news, here’s what’s happening elsewhere around the league:
As is customary in the NFL, Week 1 of the preseason was a bloodbath in terms of injuries to key fantasy players. This week’s version of the ADP-driven article will touch on a handful of players expected to assert themselves into a prime role thanks to injuries above them on the depth chart, and what that could mean for their draft stock.
Injured – Derrius Guice – Torn ACL, Out for season
Guice represented one of the rare, cost-effective running backs capable, and maybe even likely, to exceed their initial projections, as early fantasy drafters were able to capitalize on the uneasiness surrounding the rookie RB’s fall in the NFL Draft, securing what appeared to be a starting running back for a mid-to-late third round pick. That value was completely shattered after news surfaced Guice had torn his ACL following his first preseason carry on Thursday. Head coach Jay Gruden seemed confident the team wouldn’t add any veteran RBs in the immediate future, meaning Kelley or Perine will likely get the snaps on first and second down, with Chris Thompson mixing in as an excellent receiving option out of the backfield. Neither Kelley or Perine impressed in the starting role last season, but with no clear-cut leader in the clubhouse following the injury, I wouldn’t be surprised if both players get a crack at the job as the season progresses. While Kelley is listed as the starter for now, Perine profiles as the more explosive player (based almost entirely on his work at Oklahoma) and thus represents the best chance at capitalizing on the additional reps. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Perine creep into the top 100 by the time September rolls around, but without certainty that he’ll see the bulk of the carries I’m not sure that represents fantastic value. Fumbling issues, health problems and a lack of confidence from his head coach are all working against Perine, and those red flags are enough for me to wait till the later stages to draft him. In a roundabout way, Kelley might actually be the better play for fantasy drafters as he’s likely to come at a depreciated price compared to his teammate, but still fits the mold of a two-down back capable, and I use that word very loosely, or carrying the load.
With four teams playing games and the remainder of the NFL in practice, this Saturday brought no shortage of news to round out preseason Week 1. We’ll cover the important takeaways from the games here, including Kirk Cousin’s first snaps as a Viking and the return of David Johnson, but first let’s go over some quick-hitting developments from around the league.
Hey While there were only two games on the preseason docket Friday night, there was no shortage of news after a much fuller exhibition slate Thursday. My colleague Corey Smith did an outstanding job of covering a lot of the major storylines coming out of those games here, but we’ll aim to provide some of the more notable day-after developments (including one particularly crushing season-ending injury) from the first big night of preseason action, as well as any news from any Friday camp practices.