Fantasy Football Weekly - August 30
Sam Bradford will miss the entire 2014 season with a torn ACL. While this is a sad turn of events, it should not be surprising. He tore the same ACL last season and has had injury issues dating back to his days at Oklahoma. Shaun Hill will be the Rams' starting QB, at least for the time being. After this season, it may be time for the Rams to re-evaluate their QB situation moving forward … Cam Newton was a diagnosed with a hairline fracture in multiple ribs. There was some concern about Newton's Week 1 availability, but he says he is good to go and will definitely be out there next Sunday … Robert Griffin III has regressed in a "fundamental way," according to ESPN's Ron Jaworski He observed that Griffin's release point and foot work have been sloppy this preseason, and it has led to inconsistencies in his game … The rookie QBs made some noise this preseason. Teddy Bridgewater ended the preseason 30-of-49 passing with five TDs and no INTs. He will open the season as a backup, but Matt Cassel can't feel overly secure in his QB1 spot on the depth chart … In Oakland, Derek Carr incinerated the Seahawks on Thursday. He threw three TDs and is looking like he could be the Raiders' Week 1 starter. One team beat writer, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle said he believes there is a 100 percent chance Carr starts the opener. Veteran Matt Schaub, who is dealing with elbow tendinitis, is on very thin ice ... Eli Manning said learning Ben McAdoo's offensive system could be a "season-long situation." The Giants looked completely out of sync during the preseason … Kyle Orton signed a one-year contract with the Bills. He'll provide veteran insurance behind the struggling E.J. Manuel.
Bernard Pierce suffered a concussion in the Ravens' third preseason game. He is expected to be ready for Baltimore's season opener. Nonetheless, if Pierce is not ready to go, things could get very interesting. With Ray Rice suspended for the first two games, the Ravens will turn to rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro and veteran Justin Forsett. This is definitely a situation worth monitoring heading into the season … Packers RBs coach Sam Gash has no doubt that Eddie Lacy is more than capable of being the NFL's leading rusher this season … The Bengals released BenJarvus Green-Ellis. After a very productive preseason stretch by rookie Jeremy Hill, it is not inconceivable that both Hill and Giovani Bernard could each receive 200-plus rushing attempts this season. If Hill does earn a hefty workload, Bernard's fantasy value could take a hit … Seahawks backup RB Christine Michael was forced to sit out Thursday night's preseason finale due to an injured hamstring. Michael was inconsistent on the field this month, and Robert Turbin outperformed him … The Rams' Benny Cunningham badly upstaged Zac Stacy this preseason. Cunningham averaged 5.3 yards per carry to Stacy's 2.6. Cunningham may not be pushing Stacy for only playing time, but his starting job as well … Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno have split first-team reps this week. Miller is expected to have more fantasy value, however, it remains to be seen how they will be deployed … The 49ers' Marcus Lattimore will start the season on the non-football injury list. That means he will be inactive for at least the first six weeks of the season … Shaun Draughn will start the season as the Bears' No. 2 RB. He's not a great handcuff to Matt Forte.
Josh Gordon has officially been suspended for one year. Gordon led the league in receiving last season after missing the first two games due to yet another suspension. This is a tough blow to fantasy owners who thought they were slick in drafting Gordon late with hopes his suspension would be lifted. The Browns' passing attack is completely up in the air now. The only receiver to trust in Cleveland is TE Jordan Cameron. It appears Andrew Hawkins and Miles Austin will be the Browns' Week 1 starters at wideout … Wes Welker suffered a concussion in the Broncos' third preseason game, his third concussion in about nine months. It appears Welker will be ready for Week 1. However, another concussion could not only end his season but his career as well. Rookie Cody Latimer and Andre Caldwell could become fantasy relevant if Welker misses time. Emmanuel Sanders would also see an increased workload… Kenny Stills is considered questionable for the Saints' season opener due to a quad injury. He aggravated the injury during the team's third preseason game … Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said he believes third-round speedster John Brown could be on the field for about 60 percent of the offensive snaps this season. He should be a popular late-round pick … Eagles beat writer Zach Berman said Jeremy Maclin "doesn't look as explosive as he did before last July's ACL injury … The Bills' ultra-talented rookie Sammy Watkins re-aggravated his rib injury Thursday night but will reportedly be OK for the start of the season … Steelers rookie Martavis Bryant suffered a minor shoulder separation Thursday but hopes to practice next week … The Patriots' Aaron Dobson made his preseason debut after his recovery from offseason foot surgery took longer than expected. He looked healthy and showed off good hands and body control … Giants first-round pick Odell Beckham was forced to miss another preseason game due to his hamstring injury and may not be ready to make his NFL debut in Week 1. Jaguars rookie Allen Robinson is in the same boat as Beckham. Both are off the re-draft radar … Jets perennial disappointment Stephen Hill is likely to be cut as the Jets trim their roster down to 53 players. If it happens, Jets fans should be thrilled to see that experiment concluded … The Vikings Jerome Simpson was suspended three games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He had minimal fantasy value anyway … Frankie Hammond, a 2013 undrafted free agent, is expected to start for the Chiefs in place of the suspended Dwayne Bowe in Week 1. That's a perfect example of how thin Kansas City is at this position.
The Buccaneers have traded Tim Wright to the Patriots for Tom Brady's long-time left guard Logan Mankins, a six-time Pro Bowl player. Wright is already drawing comparisons to former Pats TE Aaron Hernandez. Wright could prove to be a nice target for Brady as a "move" tight end. He is, by no stretch of the imagination, an elite blocker. But Wright has good speed and athleticism to go with his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame. Should the oft-injured Rob Gronkowski fall again, Wright would be the best tight end in a tight end-friendly offense … Richard Rodgers started all four of the Packers' preseason games. It looks like he has won the position battle and will be your best option if you are looking to draft a Packers TE … Redskins second-year TE Jordan Reed was diagnosed with a sprained thumb this week. He is expected to be fine to start the season … The Eagles' tight ends coach said Zach Ertz is "one of the best route-runners I've ever seen." Ertz is a low-cost, high-upside option as the No. 11 TE taken in drafts.
Yes, we added a kicker section to this week's edition. The Broncos' Matt Prater has been suspended four games for another violation of the league's substance abuse policy. His suspension is alcohol-related and was reportedly going to be one year long. But apparently Prater has better attorneys than Josh Gordon because they got the suspension reduced to just four games. Prater is considered the No. 1 kicker by many fantasy football experts. The Broncos' stopgap appears to be Brandon McManus. They acquired him from the Giants for a seventh-round pick Tuesday. As the ostensible starting kicker for this offense, McManus definitely has some fantasy value for the first month of the season.