The second-to-last fantasy news roundup of the summer covers Antonio Brown’s return, mystery surrounding Andrew Luck, and more. Stay up-to-date on all fantasy football news here.
The NFL reinstates NE WR Josh Gordon.
Last Friday afternoon/evening, the league announced that Gordon was reinstated and will be available to play in the regular season. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick hasn’t provided much information about Gordon’s standing with the team, but the fact that he’s stayed on the roster all year suggests that he will step right into a significant role when the real games begin. The risk is high, but “Flash” has a case to be drafted as a low-end WR2 option.
PIT WR James Washington keeps up strong preseason play.
After going for a 4/84/1 line in the preseason opener, Washington caught four passes for 78 yards last weekend, and his confidence continues to grow in August. While the former Oklahoma State standout was clearly behind Donte Moncrief as the No. 2 receiver, perhaps things will change in the third preseason game. Plus, it’s worth noting that the Steelers broadcast said Washington lost 12-15 pounds in the offseason, which should be viewed as an excellent sign.
SEA WR D.K. Metcalf undergoes minor knee surgery.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the procedure was minor and doesn’t necessarily knock Metcalf out for the regular season opener, but it might be pure optimism out of Seattle keeping that hope alive. We like Metcalf’s talent, but he’s looking more and more risky as a late-round flier in redraft leagues.
OAK WR Antonio Brown leaves (and returns) to camp.
The helmet dispute for AB looked like it may have been solved when he returned to camp, but after a few days, he left again—causing general manager Mike Mayock to give an ultimatum (“all in or all out”). Fortunately, the message was clear, and Brown returned the next day as he continues to fight for the right to wear his old helmet, with a decision coming today. No matter how it plays out, Mayock’s words seem to have brought Brown back for good, so he’s worth considering in the early second-round of fantasy drafts.
TEN RB Derrick Henry (calf) practices for first time since start of camp.
Henry’s calf injury suffered on the first day of training camp wasn’t said to be serious, but it’s still encouraging to have him healthy ahead of the team’s third preseason game. Tennessee’s offensive centerpiece could be flying under the radar as most fantasy drafts near.
Mystery continues to surround IND QB Andrew Luck.
The status of Luck is exactly why you should wait to hold fantasy drafts until the weekend before the start of the regular season, but for early drafters, his health remains a huge question mark. Luck didn’t practice last week, but the on-field workout he did before Indy’s second preseason game at least provides a glimmer of hope for those banking on him playing 16 games.
Holdout is expected to continue into the regular season for LAC RB Melvin Gordon.
You could have probably assumed that Gordon would miss regular season games by simply reading the tea leaves, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that would be the case because “contract talks have not progressed as he hoped.” Gordon was a supporter of Le’Veon Bell’s holdout last year, so fantasy owners may not be able to count on him arriving before early November.
ARI WR Michael Crabtree signs with the Cardinals.
Crabtree isn’t suddenly a recommended fantasy option after signing with Arizona, but he’s definitely in an intriguing situation. The Cardinals will use a bunch of four-wide personnel under Kliff Kingsbury, and the veteran receiver should have no trouble picking up the offense after playing in a similar system at Texas Tech. It’s possible he slides right in as the No. 3 option behind Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald.
Vikings GM Rick Speilman says MIN RB Dalvin Cook could be “pretty special” this year.
Health is the big knock on Cook so far in his career, but if he stays healthy, he will have a real shot at 300+ touches for an offense that will want to run the ball. As Yahoo Sports’ Terez Paylor notes, Minnesota threw the ball on 64% of their plays last season, and Minnesota will almost certainly be closer to 55% in 2019. Consider Cook a borderline RB1.
Panthers “cautiously optimistic” that CAR QB Cam Newton (foot) will be ready for Week 1.
We finally saw Newton back on the field last night for the first time since undergoing shoulder surgery and remaking his throwing motion, but the appearance was short-lived as he injured his foot and was forced to leave the game. It was reported after the game to be an minor issue, but today’s comments suggest that Cam isn’t a lock to be ready for Week 1. If nothing else, this is another reminder that Newton is entering his age-30 campaign and has endured plenty of punishment throughout his career as a big, mobile passer.