NYJ TE Chris Herndon handed four-game suspension.
Fantasy owners should have been bracing for a suspension for Herndon, but because it’s four games instead of two, the second-year tight end is suddenly not even worth drafting in 10- or 12-team leagues. Herndon could be a backend TE1 when he returns, but the Jets have a Week 4 bye, which will keep him out until Week 6. The suspension is a drain for Sam Darnold.
Hamstring injury could keep WAS RB Derrius Guice out for start of camp.
Last Friday, radio host Erin Hawksworth reported that Guice suffered a hamstring injury and may not be ready for the start of camp, which is just another issue for the 2018 second-round pick coming off a torn ACL. The Redskins have a very good offensive line to potentially help Guice become a star, but there are a handful of options in the backfield, and the team won’t wait around for the LSU product if he can’t get healthy. Adrian Peterson is looking like the preferred selection in fantasy drafts.
TB RB Ronald Jones II bulks up for Year 2.
Jones finished the season at 208 pounds last year, but speaking at SportsCon 2019, he said he’s added 13 pounds by “training [and] eating four or five meals a day” to avoid another disappointing season. Last year, Jones rushed just 23 times for 44 yards, but perhaps a new coaching staff will help the young runner (who won’t turn 22 until August) reach his potential. The Buccaneers should have an open competition at running back between Jones and Peyton Barber this summer.
Is DAL RB Ezekiel Elliott set to hold out of training camp?
According to ProFootballTalk, Elliott has “privately” been planning a holdout if he doesn’t get a new deal, making him the second top-tier runner to potentially have a contract dispute that will keep him out of camp (Melvin Gordon being the other). Zeke is in a more difficult spot than Gordon because he has two more years left on his contract (including the fifth-year option), but perhaps the Cowboys will budge if they believe their Super Bowl window is right now. If nothing else, this is reason for early drafters to take Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara clearly ahead of Elliott.
Falcons coaches talk up ATL TE Austin Hooper.
You should always be wary of summer hype, but former NFL head coach Mike Mularkey (who is new coaching the tight ends in Atlanta), called Hooper “a threat in this offense,” with head coach Dan Quinn adding that he’s “ready to go to another level.” Hooper was able to bring in an eye-catching 80.7% of his 88 targets last season, but he will probably need more of a downfield role to become a star.
DEN WR Emmanuel Sanders avoids PUP list to start training camp.
Sanders has made a phenomenal recovery since tearing his Achilles in December, and not being on the PUP list to start camp should mean that he’s almost certainly going to be ready for the regular season opener. Sanders will be “worked back in slowly,” but that’s to be expected considering his age and the seriousness of the injury.
Broncos give first team rep of camp to DEN RB Phillip Lindsay (wrist).
It’s been basically all good news for the Broncos this week, as after sounding unsure if the team would allow him to participate immediately in camp, Lindsay took the first team rep ahead of Royce Freeman. Of course, this could mean nothing by the time real action comes around, but the biggest takeaway is that Lindsay should be close to fully recovered from wrist surgery.
BAL WR Marquise Brown (foot) ready not going to be on the field for “a few weeks”?
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Brown is “progressing well” and “should be back on the field in a few weeks,” but it’s a definite concern that a) the rookie isn’t necessarily close to being on the field, and b) there’s no set timetable for his return, which puts fantasy owners in a tough spot. In a run-first offense, “Hollywood” should probably be on the waiver wire in redraft leagues to start his career.
Sean McVay says LAR RB Todd Gurley (knee) is “ready to go.”
Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the Rams head coach said of Gurley, “I think he’s feeling great,” going on to call the superstar back a “great competitor.” You probably shouldn’t read too much into words on a late night talk show, but most signs have pointed to Gurley feeling like not much will change this season, which is hopefully the case for those who invest an early-round pick on him. If you want to look for something to pick out from a glass-half-empty perspective, McVay may have highlighted Gurley’s competitiveness as a way of subtly saying he might not be healthy but will do all he can to contribute.
KC WR Tyreek Hill avoids suspension for alleged child abuse.
In the shocker of the week, it was announced this morning that Hill would not be suspended for a year, or half a year, or four games, or two games… but zero games after the NFL’s investigation into child abuse claims. Hill will now be with the Chiefs when training camp opens, and the offense is absolutely stacked for Patrick Mahomes as he looks to repeat or build on his historic 2018 campaign. If you are comfortable drafting him (both morally and strategically), Hill is a high-upside WR1 that will have a case to be drafted in the first two rounds.