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NFL Training Camp Notes: Zeke and Mellie still holding out, McKinnon has setback

More preseason action is coming to us in less than 24 hours and more news along with it. Contract negotiations, injuries, and job battles are still the main topics of the day. Let's start with the stars.

  • Will they or won't they? Perhaps the biggest questions of the 2019 preseason are when and if Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon end their holdouts in time to suit up in Week 1. Conflicting reports have emerged from a combination of media and team sources. In Dallas, the Joneses can't seem to get their story straight, with executive vice president Stephen expressing confidence in reaching a deal with Zeke before the opener while owner Jerry is saying he isn't worried if they don't. In Los Angeles, you have Erik D. Williams of ESPN projecting Gordon to be on the opening 53-man roster while Ian Rapoport says the Chargers may be without their star back for a few games. The market is taking Gordon's threat more seriously as he's dropped to the third or fourth round in NFFC ADP this month while Elliott is still going fourth overall. Personally, I am shying away from each until I hear their deals are done or they fall to me at a significantly lower cost.

  • The 49ers' Jerick McKinnon practiced for the first time in weeks Tuesday, but a day later, general manager John Lynch announced that the 27-year-old had had another setback in his recovery from ACL surgery. There had been optimism that McKinnon might be able to suit up Week 1, but now those hopes are almost certainly dashed. Tevin Coleman (57th in NFFC ADP) benefits from less competition, as does Matt Breida, whose ADP of 111 in August makes him a steal late in drafts.
  • Staying in San Francisco, Dante Pettis has gotten some "tough love" from his coach Kyle Shanahan through the media lately, but on Tuesday, Shanahan seemed to indicate Pettis would still be an important part of the team, just that the player hadn't shown the team exactly how sizeable that role would be. I have taken Shanahan's recent comments as merely a coach seeking to motivate a player and am jumping at the chance to grab Pettis in many of my drafts at his ADP of 95. He has the talent to be the no. 1 receiver for the 49ers.
  • The Broncos tight ends are in bad shape as the season approaches. Presumed starter Jeff Heuerman has battled a shoulder injury that has kept him out of all preseason games so far, but he returned to practice on Tuesday. Noah Fant, the Bronco's first-round draft choice, has a minor ankle sprain but is practicing. Those two still look on track for the regular season. Jake Butt, on the other hand, needs "minor" knee surgery yet still could be facing a lengthy absence.

Some quick-hitters before we go:

  • Kareem Hunt will not be allowed to remain with the Browns during his eight-game personal-conduct suspension. This news doesn't affect fantasy tangibly per se, but this is a good opportunity to remind you the Browns' bye is in Week 7.  If you decide to stash Hunt at some point, be aware that he won't be usable till at least Week 10 and probably even beyond that, since it will be difficult to decipher his role behind Nick Chubb until we've seen the pair in action together.
  • Seahawks receiver David Moore is still recovering from a broken arm, but he still has a roster spot, according to coach Pete Carroll. This means Moore isn't likely to be out so long that the team would put him on IR and cause him to miss at least the first eight games. He is still behind the healthier Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf on the depth chart, although Metcalf is recovering from a minor knee procedure himself.
  • File this away in your mind's Week 1 DFS folder: the Jaguars announced shutdown corner Jalen Ramsey will shadow Tyreek Hill when the team squares off with the Chiefs to open the season. Hill has shown himself to be matchup-proof, but this might serve as a tie-breaker when deciding your lineups or possibly cause you to pivot towards the other Chiefs pass-catchers like Travis Kelce or Sammy Watkins, who have benefited from the extra attention paid to Hill in the past.