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Training Camp Notes: Be A Gurley Man

Todd Gurley has been cleared medically to participate in team practice drills, which is a nice step for the Rams' first-round pick as he continues his return from a torn ACL suffered last year. Gurley won't play in any preseason games, but is ahead of schedule compared to where a lot of people thought he would be at this point in his recovery. Once healthy and on the field, Gurley has the potential to be an absolute fantasy beast; he may be the most talented running back to enter the league since Adrien Peterson. I think Gurley is a great buy-low candidate in drafts, especially as news like this about his recovery continues to roll in.

  • The Patriots have signed veteran receiver Reggie Wayne to a one-year deal. The 36-year-old is certainly at the end of his career, and is coming off a mediocre season in which he had 64 receptions for 779 yards (setting a new career-low mark in yards per catch) and two touchdowns. However, Wayne has signed with the perfect team for his skill set, as they need receivers who can run crisp, concise routes, which is what Wayne does best. In addition, the Pats lack talent at the WR position outside of Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell, who is coming back from an injury as well. Wayne holds modest fantasy value right now, but it's reasonable to assume that he could work his way into fantasy relevance at some point this season.
  • Brian Hoyer will be Houston's starting quarterback heading into the season, as the 29-year-old has relegated Ryan Mallet to backup status. Head coach Bill O'Brien named Hoyer the starter Monday, citing his belief in the veteran's ability to run the offense. Hoyer was mediocre when he started for Cleveland in 2014 and does not have a ton of offensive weapons around him other than DeAndre Hopkins. As a result, don't expect Hoyer to have much fantasy relevance outside of two-QB leagues. Expect the Texans to continue to lean on the run even without Arian Foster on the field.
  • The Packers confirmed what everyone had feared: Jordy Nelson will miss the season with a torn ACL in his right knee. This is obviously a devastating injury for the Packers, as Jordy was Aaron Rodgers' favorite target and security blanket. Nelson's injury increases the value of Randall Cobb, who's now the team's No. 1 receiver, as well as Davante Adams, who will slide up the depth chart to become the No. 2 receiver. Adams, a second-round pick in the 2014 draft, showed flashes of upside last season, but was an inconsistent fantasy contributor. Now, Green Bay will need him to step up in a big way. This has to slightly hurt Rodgers' value as well. I don't see how you could take him over Andrew Luck at this point.
  • Geno Smith could start doing some light physical activity next week, which is a good sign for the beleaguered Jets QB. However, Smith is still expected to miss the first month or so of the season as he recovers from his broken jaw. Unless Ryan Fitzpatrick is outstanding for the first four weeks of the season, Smith should be able to step right back into the starting role upon his return, and seeing him get back to physical activity is a nice step toward that.
  • Peyton Manning admitted to Sports Illustrated that he has no feeling in his fingertips on his throwing hand. His throwing hand! That has to be a big deal, right? Apparently not, as Manning said he hasn't felt his fingertips in four years. Manning claimed that his real issues at the end of last season came from a stomach flu that led to dehydration and a thigh injury. Maybe that's an explanation for Manning's struggles last season, maybe not, but assuming he's back to full health, minus the weird fingertip thing, he could be a nice buy-low target, as he still has the upside to be the best quarterback in fantasy.