Training Camp Notes: August 30

Training Camp Notes: August 30

This article is part of our Training Camp Notes series.

To start today's report, we begin with the injuries that were reported but have no concrete conclusions, which basically places them on everyone's watch list until further details emerge. Those players are: A.J. Brown (undisclosed) who missed practice after leaving the Friday session early, Jalen Reagor (arm) with an MRI scheduled, Carson Wentz (soft tissue), Laviska Shenault (undisclosed) and La'Mical Perine (leg) with an MRI upcoming.

·        With the regular season just a couple weeks away, George Kittle missed his third-straight practice with hamstring tightness. Although reports are suggesting he'll be ready for Week 1, hamstring injuries can be tricky, so there's added risk of spending a high draft pick on a player working through injury. Although the upside is apparent, be sure to factor in the potential of a setback to this injury when drafting.

·        Jalen Reagor suffered a shoulder injury in practice and will not need surgery, but the injury will keep him out approximately four weeks. After this news, Reagor should be considered and endgame pick in drafts, especially in leagues that have IR spots.

·        After suffering a rib injury about two weeks ago, Melvin Gordon continues to miss practice time, although coach Vic Fangio stated that his RB would be back sooner rather than later. Based on this news, there's no reason to move Gordon down on draft boards. He's currently going just outside the top-20 RBs in average drafts, and he's likely to handle quite a bit of the passing-down and goal-line work while sharing carries with Phillip Linsday.

·        Although Cooper Kupp left practice early on Saturday, it was reported that he has a low-ankle sprain, and his removal from practice was precautionary. The bigger issue for fantasy managers is that Kupp's yardage totals took a massive hit in the second half of last season, as soon as the team started playing multiple TEs on the field. As a player with an ADP of WR17, fantasy players will need to hope that Kupp sees a full snap share and the Rams go back to running more three-WR sets, but there's no indication that will happen at this point.

·        In some positive news coming out of Tampa Bay, Ronald Jones returned to practice after missing time with an ankle injury. This should allow fantasy players to keep Jones where they had him on their draft boards prior to the injury. As a player going just outside the top-25 RBs, Jones has a solid chance to see much of the early-down work, but don't forget that he's had issues in pass protection that got him benched twice last year, and Tom Brady won't be very happy if Jones doesn't show improvement, which could ultimately impact Jones' playing time.

·        Within the fantasy community, there are strong opinions on both sides of the argument as to whether or not T.Y. Hilton is still going to be a strong fantasy option. In his defense, he appeared to be fully recovered from an earlier hamstring injury, as he caught six passes and a deep ball from Philip Rivers in Saturday's scrimmage, and it appeared the duo has developed some chemistry. As WR30 in typical drafts, a healthy Hilton could easily surpass that ADP especially if he and Rivers continue to be on the same page.

·        In a backfield that's expected to start the season with an unclear distribution of touches, Jonathan Taylor dropped a couple passes during Saturday's scrimmage, and although he's had a great camp, the fact that after having issues with drops in college, Taylor may not see enough targets to give him the upside we'd like. Regardless, the uber-talented rookie has a great chance to emerge as a strong yardage option, but his ADP is quite aggressive at RB16.

·        To follow up on previous reports that Le'Veon Bell is falling out of favor in New York, Rich Cimini of ESPN is reporting that Bell is getting 60 percent of the work to 40 percent for Frank Gore, so Bell is likely still expected to lead the RBs in touches, and with his ability as a receiver, Bell's likely in line for much of the passing-down work. Although his stock in fantasy drafts has fallen to RB22, he has a fair chance of earning his ADP based on volume.

·        Staying in Indy, Jack Doyle, who suffered a neck injury on August 19 but returned to practice this past Wednesday, didn't participate in Saturday's scrimmage. Fantasy managers will need to monitor updates to see if he'll be ready to start the season. As of now, Doyle's being selected as the TE20, but with his injury status, players like Irv Smith or Ian Thomas may be safer options in the same range of fantasy drafts.

·        Condolences are going out to Ryan Fitzpatrick and his family after Fitzpatrick's mother passed away. Coach Brian Flores is unsure of his QB will be back to start the season, though for now, he's expected to miss the next few days. More to come on this as we get closer to the season, but those drafting before updates emerge may want to consider their other options when looking at a late-round QB.

·        Not only did Antonio Gandy-Golden miss both practices this weekend with an undisclosed injury, but coach Ron Rivera mentioned that the rookie is "still making mistakes out there." Although he's usually going undrafted, Gandy-Golden is likely a player to monitor for potential fantasy relevance during the season but is not a recommended option in most drafts.

·        IDP players will want to take note that Yannick Ngakoue is headed to Minnesota, where he'll likely line up across from Danielle Hunter, which is great news for Ngakoue avoiding many of the double teams he was sure to see if he played in Jacksonville this year. In leagues that weight sacks heavily, his stock is on the rise.

·        Sticking with IDP, Derwin James strained his hamstring, and although there's no report as to the severity, it may be wise to fade him in any drafts that take place before more clarity becomes available.

·        It's seeming less likely by the day that Alex Smith will be able to win the starting QB job in Washington from Dwayne Haskins, as he's still not seeing time in padded drills. That said, he's been taking part in non-padded 11-on-11 work, so he has a chance to be available at some point this season. Fantasy managers who are interested in selecting Haskins in drafts can usually get him in the latter rounds, and he's often going undrafted.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jim Coventry
Coventry covers football for RotoWire. He started playing fantasy football in 1994 and won a national contest in 1996. He also nabbed five top-50 finishes in national contests from 2008 to 2012 before turning his attention to DFS. A published author, Coventry wrote a book about relationships, "The Secret of Life", in 2013.
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