The Titans’ first regular season depth chart was released Tuesday, and veteran Shonn Greene was listed as the team’s No. 1 running back. This clearly doesn’t meet the expectations of fantasy owners who drafted Sankey as their RB2, nor does it coincide with NFFC average draft position (Sankey 65, Greene 197). The good news is that is that the rookie has surpassed RB/WR Dexter McCluster on the depth chart, however the announcement still doesn’t bode well for his early-season prospects. Shonn Greene is still available in an astounding 71 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and is worth a look (or a few dollars of FAAB money) if you’re desperate for a temporary fill-in. We fully expect Sankey to take over a larger workload over the coming weeks, but for now, look for Greene to see more snaps and overall touches.
Both Le’Veon Bell and LaGarrette Blount are expected to play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Panthers, despite their recent run-ins with the law. In case you missed it, the teammates were both arrested for possession of marijuana last Wednesday, with Bell also facing DUI charges related to the incident. Neither player is expected to be officially punished by the league until next season, but the Steelers have indicated they may take a proactive approach in disciplining their top two running backs. The team has done this in the past, and it may be a solid strategy to ensure they have their top backs available later in the season for a potential playoff run. The real questions here involve both the length of the suspension, and whether or not they are handed down in the same week. Based on previous discipline issued in similar situations, it wouldn’t be irrational to assume an eventual one-game suspension for both players. However, is Pittsburgh confident enough to head into Week 1 against the division-rival Cleveland Browns without both players? That part remains to be seen. Either way, it would be unwise to let the looming suspensions drastically effect their fantasy outlooks for 2014.
As much as I was tempted to search for a stock photo of Johnny Manziel telling the Washington sideline that they were No. 1, I resisted and went with a slightly more conservative approach. Arguably more memorable than the gesture and his ensuing reaction was the fact that neither quarterback was truly able to stand out in Monday’s nationally televised showdown. No bad turnovers were committed, but both Manziel and incumbent Brian Hoyer missed open receivers, took sacks and were unable to lead a meaningful drive against the first-team defense. Simply put, this was the worst-case scenario for the Browns. Coach Mike Pettine and company had originally planned to sit down Tuesday and name their starter, but that has yet to happen, as neither option has taken the job that’s been dangling in front of them. Look for this battle to rage on at least a bit longer, and if/when both quarterbacks continue to scuffle, Hoyer wins by default.
Knowshon Moreno took part in 11-on-11 drills during Tuesday’s Dolphins practice, doing so for the first time since he had his knee scoped back in June. He’ll now enter the battle for the role of feature back with Lamar Miller, although the latter seems to have the edge at this point. In Monday night’s RotoWire Steak League Auction, Miller’s $15 price tag was almost double the cost of Moreno ($8), which was slightly surprising considering that it’s a PPR league. Moreno hauled in 60 receptions for the Broncos last season, and although that number will take a hit without Peyton Manning at the helm, one could argue that Moreno is still the better PPR option.
Toby Gerhart was back on the practice field Tuesday after missing more than a week of action due to a hip flexor injury, and is expected to suit up for Thursday’s exhibition contest against the Bears. If he plays, he’ll likely see only a carry or two, but the workload will gradually increase as the season gets closer. He should be able to fight off Jordan Todman and Denard Robinson to hang on to his role as the No. 1 back in Jacksonville, leaving plenty of room to profit at a 53.34 ADP. The 27-year-old back owns a career 4.7 YPC, although some may assert that it was due to Adrian Peterson depleting opposing defenses in Minnesota.
Who doesn’t love a good training camp fight? In the heat of early-August, tempers tend to flare — which was exactly the case at Bears camp Monday afternoon. Tight end Martellus Bennett was apparently displeased with how rookie Kyle Fuller brought him down, so he got right back up and took Fuller to the ground with him. Bears brass didn’t seem too thrilled about this, responding with a fine and indefinite suspension. After Bennett, Chicago is looking at the likes of Dante Rosario and Zach Miller on the depth chart, so the team shouldn’t be without their starter for too long. There’s a good chance this becomes an afterthought at the start of the season, but until then, it might be wise to take Dennis Pitta, Jordan Reed and Kyle Rudolph before him in fantasy drafts. Here’s a quick hit of what went down Monday: