With Tuesday came the news that Texans running back Arian Foster will likely miss a chunk of the season after suffering a groin injury in practice Monday. The Houston Chronicle’s John McClain reported Tuesday that Foster’s injury will require surgery, and an IR/designated to return tag is possible. The hit to Foster’s fantasy value is sizable if he misses more than a couple of games, and he’ll be a risky pick in drafts until more is reported on the severity of the injury. Of course, this opens up a window for Houston running back Alfred Blue. If Blue is healthy when the season begins (he dealt with minor cramping problems Tuesday) he will likely be Houston’s go-to back for Week 1. Blue piled up 528 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in his rookie year, starting three games. If he gets a similar number of touches in the first few weeks, he could be a good depth option at running back until Foster returns.
DeSean Jackson cannot be guarded. At least, that’s how the outspoken Washington receiver feels. Jackson was quoted at camp as saying: “I don’t think no one can guard me. It’s how I feel about myself. I don’t feel no one can stop me. You can get Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman, whoever you want to get.” DJax has never lacked confidence, so this kind of proclamation is no surprise from the 28-year-old burner. However, he would probably be wise to tone it down a little, as Washington has enough to worry about on the field without their top receiver mouthing off. Furthermore, while Jackson’s speed is certainly game-changing, he is far from the top receiver in the league, so the odds are good that despite what he believes, DeSean may just be guardable. In a related note, Jackson is currently sidelined with a dislocated left finger, but the injury does not appear to be anything serious.
While the Seahawks have risen in recent seasons to become of the league’s powerhouses, cracks are beginning to form in the foundation of the team’s success. New contracts handed to Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner have already started to take their toll on the organization’s cap space, and starting defensive tackle Tony McDaniel was released Sunday as the ‘Hawks could no longer afford him. Was he an integral part of their defense? Not really. McDaniel managed just 83 tackles and two sacks in two seasons since coming to the northwest from Miami and will be replaced in the front seven by smaller but more disruptive DT Jordan Hill, a third round pick in 2013.
The 2011 and 2012 draft classes for the Seahawks brought in a wealth of cost-controlled talent that took them to back-to-back Super Bowls, and had them one over-thought play call away from back-to-back Super Bowl wins. But as the rookie contracts for those key performers expire, requiring the club to pony up big bucks or say goodbye to valuable players, it’s going to become harder for Seattle to maintain quality and depth across their roster and harder to keep their spot among the NFC’s elite. That’s simply the circle of life in the NFL during the salary cap era, and it’s also something that might give you pause before you pull the trigger on the Seahawks’ D/ST unit in your draft. They’ll still be good in 2015, but attrition may leave them not be quite as dominant as you need them to be given their ADP.
Notes from around the league on the first Sunday in August:
After taking the field for Thursday’s practice and Friday’s walkthrough, Tony Romo was held out of practice Friday to receive treatment on a stye in his left eye. While such an ailment generally heals itself in a couple days, he returned to drills Saturday, connecting with Dez Bryant on a deep touchdown strike at one point. Romo entered training camp with more flexibility regarding his activity from a season ago, when he never practiced more than two consecutive days and regularly missed the initial practice of each week. As a result, consider Friday’s absence a blip on the radar as he navigates training camp and the preseason slate.
For this exercise, we will look at ADP from standard ESPN and Yahoo leagues. You would be wise to bump the following players up on your cheat sheet while the rest of your league is mesmerized by the running scroll of pre-ranked players in your online draft room.
Here’s a look at training camps from Friday:
– Russell Wilson got paid. Wilson signed a four-year, $87.6 million extension with $60 million guaranteed. The deal isn’t a surprise to anyone and with Wilson happy with the new contract he should be primed for another big season. The addition of Jimmy Graham gives him the best receiving weapon he’s ever had and Wilson will still get plenty of valuable rushing yards for fantasy owners. Look for him to finish as a top-5 player at the position.
– Though 2015 first-round pick Todd Gurley has passed his conditioning test and will begin training camp on the Rams’ active roster, 2014 third-round pick Tre Mason is expected to open the season as the starter.