Our 2023 NFL Training Camp News articles are intended to be a one-stop shop for the most important news from around the NFL during training camp. I’ll post a new Market Report every week during August to help our subscribers keep the pulse of what’s happening in the fantasy marketplace. I’ll update this article on a daily basis during the week so make sure to check back for the latest training camp buzz.
This article will focus mostly on news, beat reports, and injuries coming out of team practices. Be sure to check out Graham Barfield’s Preseason Game Reviews once the games start for key takeaways on player performances and playing time implications from preseason action.
ADP in this article is based on our ADP tool’s PPR setting, which pulls from NFFC drafts over the last 14 days.
CATCH UP ON PREVIOUS TRAINING CAMP MARKET REPORTS
INJURY UPDATES FROM PAST MARKET REPORTS
Miles Sanders (Car) — Sanders returned to practice after missing about two weeks with a groin injury, and he said he’ll be ready for the Falcons in Week 1. Chuba Hubbard also practiced after tweaking his ankle in the second preseason game.
Isiah Pacheco (RB, KC) — Pacheco avoided the PUP list after sitting out OTAs because of a pair of off-season surgeries to his labrum and hand. He finally shed his non-contact jersey on Aug. 21, and HC Andy Reid said there’s a chance he could see action in their final preseason game. At the very least, Pacheco should be ready to go for the season opener on Sept. 7.
De’Von Achane (RB, Mia) — Miami’s third-round pick suffered a shoulder injury in Miami’s second preseason game. We’ve been concerned about Achane holding up if he would see volume because of his pint-sized frame, and this shoulder issue does alleviate those concerns. HC Mike McDaniel said Achane is week-to-week with his shoulder injury, which would have him in a race to be ready for the season opener.
Elijah Mitchell (RB, SF) and George Kittle (TE, SF) — Mitchell and Kittle are both expected to return to practice this week. Mitchell initially picked up his hip injury on Aug. 3 while Kittle has sat out since Aug. 10 with an adductor strain.
Jerome Ford (RB, Cle) — Ford left an Aug. 7 practice early with a hamstring injury, and HC Kevin Stefanski said his status is “week to week.” The injury is serious enough that the Browns signed Jordan Wilkins for additional RB depth behind Nick Chubb — Demetric Felton and John Kelly are the top backups while Ford is out. Stefanski said on Aug. 22 that Ford will miss another week of practice but the hope is he’ll be ready for the season opener.
Kendre Miller (RB, NO) — Miller suffered a knee sprain in New Orleans’ preseason opener, and the sprain was to the same right knee that he injured in the Fiesta Bowl last December, which kept him out until training camp. Miller ended up not missing any game action, appearing in the second preseason contest and scoring a touchdown. The Saints still signed Darrel Williams last week to help with their RB depth after sniffing around Kareem Hunt on Aug. 8.
Cordarrelle Patterson (RB, Atl) — HC Arthur Smith said Patterson will miss a few weeks — the rest of the preseason — for a soft-tissue injury. He’ll be evaluated before the start of the season to see if he’s good to go for Week 1. Bijan Robinson could see a little more work in the passing game when Patterson misses time this season.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR, Det) — St. Brown is sitting out practice this week after picking up an ankle injury on Aug. 16, but he’s working on running and cutting on side fields. HC Dan Campbell said “he’s doing good” and Amon-Ra is expected to return to action next week.
Jaylen Waddle (WR, Mia) — Waddle was in uniform and rehabbing his abdomen injury on the side at an Aug. 22 practice, but he’s yet to return to practice since picking up his injury on Aug. 9. HC Mike McDaniel said they’re being “cautious” with Waddle and they’re getting him ready for Week 1.
Jordan Addison (WR, Min) — Addison returned to practice on Aug. 23 after entering the league’s concussion protocol on Aug. 16. He also pled guilty to misdemeanor speeding charges for driving 140 miles per hour, but his reckless driving charge was dismissed as part of his agreement.
Treylon Burks (Ten) — Burks suffered a sprained LCL in an Aug. 16 practice, which will sideline him for a few weeks, per Ian Rapoport. Our Edwin Porras compared the injury to Darren Waller’s IT band injury in 2021, which cost him four games, and Edwin expects him to miss between 2-4 weeks. Beat writer Jim Wyatt doesn’t know if Burks will be ready for the season opener.
D.J. Chark (WR, Car) — Chark missed an Aug. 23 practice for a hamstring injury. Terrace Marshall (back), Laviska Shenault (concussion), and Damiere Byrd (hamstring) are also battling injury, but HC Frank Reich said the team wasn’t planning any “big moves” at WR to help their thinning depth, which is likely a sign that Chark’s injury isn’t too serious.
Rashid Shaheed (WR, NO) — Shaheed returned to individual work on Aug. 24 after picking up a groin injury in an Aug. 5 practice. He’s in a battle for the #3 WR spot with Tre’Quan Smith, who is still working his way back from a groin injury that he also suffered on Aug. 5
Mike Gesicki (TE, NE) — Gesicki left an Aug. 14 practice early with a “mild dislocated shoulder,” and he returned to practice in a non-contact jersey on Aug. 22. Gesicki has had an uneven start in his first Patriots’ camp, quickly falling behind Hunter Henry, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and DeVante Parker as Mac Jones’s top camp receivers.
Logan Thomas (TE, Was) — Thomas began working on a side field on Aug. 19 after missing the last few weeks for a calf injury. He’s trending toward being ready for the start of the season.
Players whom we’re feeling more optimistic about based on training camp reports and injury news.
Baker Mayfield (TB) — HC Todd Bowles named Mayfield the team’s starting quarterback in Week 1 against the Vikings. Mayfield outlasted Kyle Trask in the lightly talked about quarterback competition. He’ll hold the starting job for the time being but I’d expect Trask, Tampa Bay’s 2021 second-round pick, to get a crack at the job at some point if Mayfield continues to play like he has the last two seasons — this is his fourth team since last summer. Tampa’s QB situation is shaping up to be a headache for former fantasy studs Chris Godwin (56, WR27) and Mike Evans (71, WR34), and Mayfield is nothing more than a bench piece in 2-QB/Superflex to start the year. (Added 8/22)
Joshua Dobbs (Ari) — I’ll admit I didn’t have Dobbs as a Week 1 starter on my preseason developments bingo card, but it’s looking that way after the Cardinals sent a 2024 fifth-round pick to the Browns for Dobbs and a 2024 seventh-round pick (per Tom Pelissero). Kyler Murray (knee) has yet to be activated from the PUP list and Colt McCoy has reportedly had a rough training camp, which gives Dobbs a real chance to start multiple games to open the season for the Cardinals. Dobbs doesn’t have a ton of time to get familiar with his new teammates, but he’s at least familiar with OC Drew Petzing from their time together in Cleveland in 2022. The Cardinals are going to be a popular offense to stream D/STs against all season long, including in Week 1 with the Commanders. (Added 8/25)
Javonte Williams (Den) — Williams, who tore his ACL, PLC, and LCL last October, avoided the PUP list to start training camp and has been cleared for contact. He hasn’t been limited during camp and HC Sean Payton announced that Williams will see game action in their second preseason game. Payton wasn’t shy about throwing his back right into the fire with 3/12 rushing and 4/18 receiving on 5 targets. Williams will be ready for the season opener barring a setback, and OC Joe Lombardi confirmed that they’ll limit his workload early in the season before his workload expands. Williams is well ahead of schedule from his major knee injury, and his ADP (58, RB18) has quickly risen throughout August. (Updated 8/25)
James Cook (Buf) — Cook has been one of the biggest risers in training camp ever since OC Ken Dorsey said that Cook is versatile enough to be a “three-down back” in late July. The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia wrote in early August that he’s “far-and-away” the top back at camp who seems destined for “at least over half of the offensive snaps.” Dorsey continued to heap praise on Cook on Aug. 23, noting his improvement in pass protection and running more powerfully. Cook’s ADP has risen 18 spots since Aug. 2 all the way up to 65 (RB20). (Updated 8/2)
Khalil Herbert (Chi) — Herbert has been treated as the team’s starting RB in the preseason, playing just 7 snaps in 2023 compared to 65 snaps last preseason when he backed up David Montgomery. RB coach David Walker said Herbert is the team’s lead back in their committee backfield, noting he “hasn’t done anything to lose the job.” Herbert has shot up draftboards (95 ADP, RB32) since his 56-yard TD on a screen pass in the preseason opener. (Added 8/23)
Tyjae Spears (Ten) — The Athletic’s Joe Rexrode wrote that Spears has “served notice” and is the Titans’ most talented back they’ve acquired since drafting Derrick Henry in the second round in 2016. Spears has racked up 93 scrimmage yards on just 14 touches this preseason, and our Graham Barfield wrote that Spears has been the best player on the field on more than a few snaps. Tennessee’s offense still runs through Henry but Spears is playing himself into a weekly role as the team’s change-of-pace option. It’s unlikely to be a big enough role to have standalone fantasy value, but he could depress Henry’s touches more than we’ve seen from any other Titans back since Dion Lewis handled 191 touches next to Henry in 2018. Spears is one of the top handcuff picks (150, RB50) and a player to consider late in drafts. (Added 8/21)
Jeff Wilson (Mia) — The Dolphins backfield remains untouched in late August after it once looked like Dalvin Cook or another back could be added this summer. It’s tough to get excited about any of these RBs in re-draft formats since this is going to be a volatile committee, but Dolphins beat reporter Joe Schad writes that Wilson could lead the team in rushes this season. Wilson remains the cheapest option (162, RB56) in this backfield and a strong best-ball target, and Raheem Mostert is also a solid pick at his price (147, RB49). De’Von Achane remains overpriced (114, RB40) since he’s unlikely to be a high-volume option at 5’9”, 188 pounds, and he’s dealing with a shoulder injury coming out of the second preseason game. HC Mike McDaniel said Achane is week-to-week with his injury, which would have him in a race to be ready for the season opener. The Dolphins have been in contact about both Jonathan Taylor and Josh Jacobs, so Wilson isn’t out of the woods just yet. (Added 8/24)
Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf (Sea) — Jaxon Smith-Njigba, the 20th overall pick in 2022, underwent wrist surgery on Aug. 22, per Adam Schefter. HC Pete Carroll said JSN suffered a “slight fracture” and he’ll need 3-4 weeks to heal. That timeline puts him on the doubtful side for Seattle’s season opener against the Rams, with a Week 2 or 3 start to his season more likely. Metcalf and Lockett get early-season boosts while JSN is out of the lineup against a weak Rams secondary, and JSN’s injury could slow his development in the first month. (Added 8/23)
Courtland Sutton and Marvin Mimsm (Den) — Jerry Jeudy suffered a hamstring injury on Aug. 24 and Ian Rapoport reported that he’ll miss several weeks with a “moderate” hamstring injury. Our Edwin Porras believes Jeudy should be back by Week 2 or 3 based on historical precedent. Sutton is going to be Russell Wilson’s go-to receiver early in the season, and training camp previous training camp reports indicate he may have already been Wilson’s guy in August. Sutton has been listed at 216 pounds in 2022-23, but a scout told ESPN’s Jeff Legwold “This year I believe it, last year I didn’t.” Denver’s once-deep WR depth chart has already been tested with Tim Patrick (Achilles) suffering another season-ending leg injury and K.J. Hamler waived with an NFI designation. Sutton had been a bargain (91, WR40) compared to Jeudy (37, WR20), a year after Sutton was drafted two rounds ahead of Jeudy, but that may not last long after Jeudy’s injury. Mims, Denver’s first pick in spring’s draft, should also get an immediate playing time bump, and he’s a player we’ve been targeting late in drafts. (Added 8/25)
Elijah Moore (Cle) — Moore picked up a rib injury in his preseason debut with the Browns, and he returned to team drills on Aug. 20. The third-year WR did a little of everything before his injury, lining up at receiver and taking a handoff in the backfield. HC Kevin Stefanski said after the preseason opener, “We want to use the kid in a bunch of different ways. Teams know that we'll hand it to him, that we’ll throw it to him.” Stefanski then said on Aug. 20 that it's the coaching staff’s job “to find ways to get him the ball.” I gave out Moore over 45.5 receptions at DraftKings Sportsbook in late July, and he’s a target for me at his ADP (93, WR42), especially when I’ve already drafted Watson. (Added 8/21)
Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, Randall Cobb (NYJ) — Corey Davis had been away from the Jets since Aug. 16 for a personal matter, and he announced on Aug. 23 that he was retiring from football. Meanwhile, Cobb has been getting more reps with Aaron Rodgers and the first-team offense than Hardman in recent practices, per The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt. Cobb is going to play a bigger role in this offense than expected as long as his BFF Aaron wants him on the field. New York’s WR depth chart is suddenly thinner with Davis’ retirement, and I’m expecting the Jets to rotate Cobb and Hardman behind their top two WRs Lazard and Garrett Wilson. Lazard sprained his AC joint in an Aug. 24 practice, but HC Robert Saleh expects him to be ready for the season opener. (Added 8/23)
Trent Sherfield (Buf) — The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia reported two weeks ago that Sherfield has had the strongest camp in the battle for the #3 WR, ahead of Khalil Shakir and Deonty Harty. Sherfield has flashed more playmaking ability in his first-team reps while Shakir has failed to earn targets and faded into the background more in his chances. That usage has continued into preseason action, which prompted Buscaglia to write that Sherfield is the #3 WR and Shakir is the #5 option in late August. OC Ken Dorsey could use a rotation behind Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis, and Sherfield could be thrust into a bigger role if either of Buffalo’s top WRs misses time. (Added 8/21)
Chigoziem Okonkwo (Ten) — Kyle Phillips suffered a sprained MCL on a punt return in Tennessee’s second preseason game, per Paul Kuharsky. The injury will likely keep him out for 4-6 weeks, which puts him in jeopardy of missing anywhere from 2-4 games. Phillips was likely to be the team’s primary slot receiver and he’s off the radar in most formats. However, his injury could mean the Titans use more personnel with the likes of Okonkwo on the field, especially with Treylon Burks dealing with his own knee sprain to his LCL. Okonkwo ran 37.1% of his routes from the slot last year and averaged a blistering 2.73 YPRR from inside (per Fantasy Points Data). (Added 8/22)
Tyler Conklin (NYJ) — Corey Davis had been away from the Jets since Aug. 16 for a personal matter, and he announced on Aug. 23 that he was retiring from football. New York’s WR depth chart is suddenly thinner with Davis’ retirement, which means the Jets could go with even more 2-TE sets than anticipated. The Jets are deep at the position with Conklin, C.J. Uzomah, and Jeremy Ruckert at the top of the depth chart, and more TEs on the field could help out with their issues at the tackle spots. Conklin is the preferred receiver in the group with 431 routes (4th-most among TEs) and a 62.6% route share last season —Uzomah ran 199 routes with a 32.8% route share. Conklin is an excellent TE3 target in Underdog drafts at his depressed ADP (194, TE26). (Added 8/23)
Players whom we’re feeling less optimistic about based on training camp reports and injury news.
Kyler Murray (Ari) — The Cardinals continue to show they don’t care much about winning in 2023 after completing three trades on Aug. 25. In one of those trades, they landed Josh Dobbs to potentially make multiple starts early in the season while Murray is on the shelf. The Cardinals have yet to activate Murray from the PUP list and he could stay on the list to open the season, which would cost him at least four games. Murray is only worth drafting in 1-QB leagues if you have an IR roster spot and, even then, you’ll probably want to use that spot on other positions early in the season. (Added 8/25)
Trey Lance (SF) — The 49ers named Sam Darnold the backup to Brock Purdy, which leaves Lance as the #3 QB (per Tom Pelissero). Lance could go from being the third overall pick in 2021 to being a gameday inactive if the 49ers don’t find a suitor for him before the start of the season. Lance didn’t attend practice on Aug. 23 when it became public that Darnold had beaten him out for the backup job. It appears that Lance has likely played his final snaps for the 49ers after just 4 career starts. (Added 8/23)
Kyle Trask (TB) — HC Todd Bowles named Baker Mayfield the team’s starting quarterback in Week 1 against the Vikings. Mayfield outlasted Trask in the lightly talked about quarterback competition. He’ll hold the starting job for the time being but I’d expect Trask, Tampa Bay’s 2021 second-round pick, to get a crack at the job at some point if Mayfield continues to play like he has the last two seasons — this is his fourth team since last summer. Tampa’s QB situation is shaping up to be a headache for former fantasy studs Chris Godwin (56, WR27) and Mike Evans (71, WR34), and Trask is off the radar in 2-QB/Superflex to start the year. (Added 8/22)
Derrick Henry (Ten) — The Athletic’s Joe Rexrode wrote that Spears has “served notice” and is the Titans’ most talented back they’ve acquired since drafting Henry in the second round in 2016. Spears has racked up 89 rushing yards on just 13 touches this preseason, and our Graham Barfield wrote that Spears has been the best player on the field on more than a few snaps. Tennessee’s offense still runs through Henry but Spears is playing himself into a weekly role as the team’s change-of-pace option. It’s unlikely to be a big enough role to have standalone fantasy value, but he could depress Henry’s touches more than we’ve seen from any other Titans back since Dion Lewis handled 191 touches next to Henry in 2018. Henry’s fantasy ceiling could be capped a little more than we’ve seen the last four seasons if Spears can steal 7-9 touches per week. (Added 8/21)
Damien Harris (Buf) — Harris is losing ground in Buffalo’s backfield on multiple fronts. James Cook has been the team’s clear top RB in camp and The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia wrote that he seems destined for “at least over half of the offensive snaps.” Harris is also dealing with knee soreness while 33-year-old Latavius Murray has been the team’s more versatile big back, showing better chops in the passing game. Harris will go down as a wasted pick (118, RB42) if he can’t even beat out Murray for short-yardage situations, and I’m staying away from him with his current standing in this backfield. Harris is still working his way back from his knee injury in late August and the team signed Ty Johnson on Aug. 21 to help their RB depth. (Added 8/22)
Jerry Jeudy (Den) — Jeudy suffered a hamstring injury on Aug. 24 and Ian Rapoport reported that he’ll miss several weeks with a “moderate” hamstring injury. Our Edwin Porras believes Jeudy should be back by Week 2 or 3 based on historical precedent. We’ve dropped Jeudy to WR35 in our projections and he’s no longer a player to target at his soon to be plummeting ADP (37, WR20). (Added 8/25)
Marquise Brown (Ari) — The Cardinals continue to show they don’t care much about winning in 2023 after completing three trades on Aug. 25. In one of those trades, they landed Josh Dobbs to potentially make multiple starts early in the season while Kyler Murray (knee) is on the shelf. Murray has yet to be activated from the PUP list and Colt McCoy has reportedly had a rough training camp, which gives Dobbs a real chance to start multiple games to open the season for the Cardinals. Hollywood has the chance to be funneled targets in plenty of negative game scripts this season, but he could be drugged down by this downright putrid offensive environment. (Added 8/25)
Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Sea) — Smith-Njigba, the 20th overall pick in 2022, underwent wrist surgery on Aug. 22, per Adam Schefter. HC Pete Carroll said JSN suffered a “slight fracture” and he’ll need 3-4 weeks to heal. That timeline puts him on the doubtful side for Seattle’s season opener against the Rams, with a Week 2 or 3 start to his season more likely. I’ve been mostly out on JSN at his ADP (79, WR37) but a round dip could have me intrigued in drafting and stashing him early in the season. (Updated 8/23)
Khalil Shakir (Buf) — The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia reported two weeks ago that Trent Sherfield has had the strongest camp in the battle for the #3 WR, ahead of Shakir and Deonty Harty. Sherfield has flashed more playmaking ability in his first-team reps while Shakir has failed to earn targets and faded into the background more in his chances. That usage has continued into preseason action, which prompted Buscaglia to write that Sherfield is the #3 WR and Shakir is the #5 option in late August. OC Ken Dorsey could use a rotation behind Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis but it appears that Shakir is firmly off the re-draft radar heading into his second season. (Added 8/21)
Kyle Phillips (Ten) — Phillips suffered a sprained MCL on a punt return in Tennessee’s second preseason game, per Paul Kuharsky. The injury will likely keep him out for 4-6 weeks, which puts him in jeopardy of missing anywhere from 2-4 games. Phillips was likely to be the team’s primary slot receiver and he’s off the radar in most formats. However, his injury could mean the Titans use more personnel with the likes of Chig Okonkwo on the field, especially with Treylon Burks dealing with his own knee sprain to his LCL. Okonkwo ran 37.1% of his routes from the slot last year and averaged a blistering 2.73 YPRR from inside (per Fantasy Points Data). (Added 8/22)
None of note.
Players who we’re not ready to upgrade or downgrade but whose situations demand monitoring based on training camp reports and injury news.
Justin Fields (CHI) — The Bears are preparing to be without LG Teven Jenkins for up to six weeks with a leg injury, per beat reporter Brad Biggs. The 2021 second-round pick had a breakout sophomore campaign with a switch from tackle to guard, with PFF grading him as the third-best guard with his dominant run-game blocking propelling him to the high finish. Jenkins could miss at least Week 1 and potentially longer, which is bad news for a line that’s trending upward but still a bottom half of the league unit. Fields and Chicago’s running game get a small downgrade for as long as Jenkins is out of the lineup. (Added 8/21)
Jonathan Taylor (RB, Ind) — Taylor surprisingly opened training camp on the PUP list after undergoing an “arthroscopic debridement” surgery to his right ankle in January. He called the procedure a clean-up and targeted a return during training camp at the time of his surgery. Owner Jim Irsay then ignited a fire in his star RB, who has been seeking a contract extension as he enters the final year of his rookie contract. He posted on July 26 that running backs don’t have a leg to stand on to change the depressed running back market under the current CBA. He then said on July 27 that they hadn’t made an official contract offer to Taylor. The two sides met to clear the air on July 29, but Taylor left the meeting and announced a trade request publicly — he reportedly requested the trade days earlier, per ESPN’s Stephen Holder. In that same ESPN article, Taylor’s “bitterness” toward the franchise originated with the team’s handling of his ankle injury last season.
Taylor is avoiding fines in training camp since he’s on the PUP list, but he’ll need to play at some point if he wants his rookie contract's final season to accrue and get paid. Indy’s RB depth is being tested after top backup Zack Moss broke his arm in practice on July 31, leaving rookie Evan Hull and Deon Jackson as the top RBs in camp. The Colts signed Kenyan Drake on Aug. 4 to help with their current depth at the position. Taylor still hasn’t returned to the field and the Colts have given him permission to seek a trade with an Aug. 29 deadline. His relationship with the Colts is certainly on the rocks but Taylor could have a difficult time finding the long-term contract he wants while finding the right compensation for Indianapolis. Taylor should land in a good offense if he’s traded since it would likely be a franchise looking for a running back to put a team over the top — the Dolphins, Bears, and Broncos have all reportedly inquired. Taylor’s ADP (26, RB8) has continued to drop but this standoff is, hopefully, coming to some sort of conclusion in the near future. (Updated 8/24)
Josh Jacobs and Zamir White (LV) — Jacobs didn’t report for the start of training camp, which was expected since he’s not under contract with the Raiders. The two sides failed to reach terms on a long-term contract, and he’s yet to sign his franchise tag. Per Mike Garafolo, Jacobs turned down a $12 million per year off. Jacobs and the Raiders are in a holding pattern as his holdout stretches into late August, and they rebuffed an exploratory trade call from the Dolphins. Las Vegas signed both Damien Williams and Darwin Thompson to help their depth while Jacobs holds out. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Jacobs is expected back with the Raiders before the season opener, according to multiple league sources. HC Josh McDaniel didn’t have an update on Jacob’s status on Aug. 20. The Athletic’s Tashan Reed wrote that White will be the team’s starting running back for as long as Jacobs is away from the team. Jacobs has slipped to the late third round (35 ADP, RB12) while White has emerged as a late-round pick (160, RB55) with Jacobs continuing to hold out. (Added 8/24)
Cooper Kupp (LAR) — Kupp returned to practice this week in joint sessions with the Broncos (and Patrick Surtain). He initially left an Aug. 1 practice early with a hamstring injury, which was the last thing the Rams wanted to see after he played in just nine games in 2022 because of an ankle injury. The coaching staff initially categorized Kupp’s injury as day-to-day but Kupp has missed three weeks of practice to this point. The only things keeping Kupp from being drafted ahead of Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase are his age (he turned 30 years old in June) and durability concerns (he also missed half of 2018 for a torn ACL). His latest injury caused him to slide down draftboards (7 ADP, WR4) by one spot behind Austin Ekeler. His connection with Matthew Stafford is undeniable, and he’ll challenge for his third consecutive WR1 finish in FPG as long as he and his quarterback can stay healthy. (Added 8/21)
Terry McLaurin (Was) — McLaurin left Washington’s second preseason game with a toe injury, which has been diagnosed as turf toe (per Ian Rapoport). The injury isn’t considered “overly serious” and a positive MRI on Aug. 22 has the Commanders optimistic he’ll be ready for Week 1. Adam Schefter threw some water on Washington’s optimism on Aug. 24, writing that McLaurin is “uncertain” for the season opener. McLaurin is in a race to be ready for Washington’s season opener against the Cardinals but it doesn’t sound like he’ll miss extended time for the injury. I’ve mostly passed on McLaurin at his ADP (51, WR25) with Jahan Dotson nipping at his heels and essentially a rookie taking over at quarterback. (Added 8/22)
Quentin Johnston and Joshua Palmer (LAC) — Johnston has been “inconsistent” in his first training camp while Palmer has been “one of the offense’s most consistent performers,” per The Athletic’s Daniel Popper. OC Kellen Moore called it “a process” with Johnston and added that he’ll have a role at the start of the season. Johnston has played well in his first two preseason games with 6/47/1 receiving, but he’s played extensively with the second-team offense while Palmer and other starters have rested. First-round pick Johnston has been penciled into a big role right out of the gates by most people (not us), but it’s looking like he’ll be slow out of the gates. He’s the type of player who you have to be patient with at his rich ADP (97, WR47) given Los Angeles’ firepower and the injury histories for Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Palmer has been slept on this summer and is one of my favorite final-round targets in Underdog drafts (212, WR90) after catching 72 passes in his second season. (Added 8/23)
T.J. Hockenson (TE, Min) — Hockenson sat out team drills in the early part of training camp with a “ear infection,” but there was light speculation that he was actually holding in for a contract extension as he enters the fifth and final year on his rookie contract. He’s now sitting out practice this week with “lower-back stiffness,” but The Athletic reported what has been speculation this month that Hockenson is looking to “reset the market” at the position. Hockenson said on Aug. 21 that he expects to be active and play on Sept. 10, but we’ll see if his tune changes if the two sides can’t come to terms on a deal. (Added 8/24)