Recent NFL Player News

Colts' Andrew Luck reportedly retires, Jacoby Brissett new starting quarterback

According to ESPN, quarterback Andrew Luck "has informed the Colts he is retiring from the NFL."

What It Means:

WOW, just two weeks before the regular season it appears the Colts' franchise quarterback wants to step away from the football field. According to Schefter, Luck was "mentally worn down, and now checking out". The Colts reportedly are ready to roll with Jacoby Brissett as their new starter.

If Luck is officially retired, the 29-year old will finish his Indianapolis career with 171 passing touchdowns in 86 total games.

Colts release running back D'Onta Foreman

The Indianapolis Colts have placed running back D"Onta Foreman on waivers after an injury settlement.

What It Means:

Foreman will need at least four months to recover from a biceps injury so realistic expectations are for the 23-year old to reappear with another team by training camp.

In 11 career games, Foreman has produced 326 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on 85 attempts.

Texans' Lamar Miller (knee) carted off the field in the first quarter

Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller was forced to leave Saturday's preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys after suffering a left knee injury.

What It Means:

Miller took a hit directly to the left knee after a handoff and is likely done for the season. Look for Duke Johnson to take over the lead role and start.

Our models currently project Johnson to produce 681 scrimmage yards and 4.6 total touchdowns on 109.1 touches.

Lions' LB Jarrad Davis (leg) leaves on cart Friday

Detroit Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis (leg) was carted off the field during Friday's game against the Buffalo Bills.

What It Means:

Davis hurt his leg when it was rolled up by a teammate and could miss regular-season time.

He made 100 tackles and had 6 sacks in 16 games last season.

Source: NFL.com

Washington coach Jay Gruden 'impressed' with Derrius Guice

Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden said he was "impressed" with running back Derrius Guice's preseason debut on Thursday against the Atlanta Falcons.

What It Means:

Guice ran for 44 yards on 11 carries and Gruden said he wanted to get him the ball. "Wanted to give him quite a few touches. ..I think it was a productive night for him," Gruden said.

Our models project Guice to run for 743.9 yards and 4.1 touchdowns on 162.3 carries.

Source: NFL.com

Cowboys 'very optimistic' Ezekiel Elliott ends holdout by Week 1

Dallas Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones remains "very optimistic" that the team will get a deal done with running back Ezekiel Elliott ahead of Week 1.

What It Means:

Jones says a deal can happen fast, coming together in just hours. Despite the positivity, Jones did also say that he does not expect an agreement to be reached soon because "there is not a lot of activity" going on between the two sides right now. Elliott is currently back in Cabo San Lucas continuing his training and workouts alongside Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk.

Elliott is still projected as numberFire's preseason RB4 with 1,879.2 total yards and 13.2 touchdowns in 2019.

Source: ESPN

Cowboys' Amari Cooper dealing with 'muscle strain' in his foot

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper is dealing with a muscle strain in his foot, according to Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones.

What It Means:

Cooper's injury has been described as plantar fasciitis and a strained heel as well. Whatever the injury is, the Cowboys do not appear to be worried even as Cooper will sit out all the preseason due to the ailment. If the wideout were to miss any time, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb would be the biggest beneficiaries.

Cooper is projected for 85.1 catches, 1,176.9, and 8.5 touchdowns in 2019.

Cam Newton (foot sprain) expected to play Week 1 for Carolina

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been diagnosed with a mid-foot sprain but is expected to be able to play in Week 1 of the regular season.

What It Means:

Newtown suffered the injury during a sack in Thursday's preseason game. He was seen in a walking boot after the game but with over two weeks before the season opener, the Panthers remain optimistic.

numberFire's models project Newton as the QB5 in fantasy this season with 3,857.8 passing yards, 24.1 touchdowns, and 12.2 interceptions while adding 555.0 yards and 5.7 touchdowns on the ground.

Jaron Brown likely to start as Seattle's second receiver

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaron Brown is "likely to be the Seahawks No. 2 WR."

What It Means:

Brown is preparing to start the season as the Seahawks' second receiver with teammates DK Metcalf and David Moore sidelined with injuries. Expect the 29-year old to play a lot of snaps until Metcalf can return.

Our models project Brown to haul in 29.6 receptions for 435.8 yards and 3.4 touchdowns on 47.3 targets.

Source: Joe Fann

Redskins' Jordan Reed placed in NFL concussion protocol

Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed has been placed in the NFL's concussion protocol, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

What It Means:

Reed suffered a helmet-to-helmet hit from Falcons safety Keanu Neal in Thursday's preseason game, and he was evaluated for a concussion immediately. He's now in the concussion protocol without a timeline for release, and the oft-injured pass-catcher has caught another bad break. Should he be out for a prolonged period of time, veteran Vernon Davis would be in line for an increased role.

Our models currently project Reed for 57.32 catches, 570.51 yards and 3.39 touchdowns this season, though that could change if he's out long-term.

Bears' Anthony Miller (ankle) may be limited to start year

Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller (ankle) could be limited over the first few weeks of the season, speculates Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune.

What It Means:

Miller has been sidelined with a right ankle sprain since August 10 and he also missed OTAs and minicamp while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. The missed time has impeded the second-year wideout in terms of "getting the offense down" and timing with the quarterback, per head coach Matt Nagy. Miller led the Bears with 7 touchdown catches last season and finished second among rookies.

numberFire's models project Miller for 77.6 targets, 45.9 receptions, 620.1 yards, and 4.33 touchdowns this season. He's the WR55 in our preseason fantasy rankings.

Michael Crabtree officially signs with Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals signed wide receiver Michael Crabtree, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, to a 1-year contract.

What It Means:

The two sides failed to reach a deal when they first met earlier this month, but they worked things out once Hakeem Butler was ruled out for the season with a broken finger and Kevin White was released. Crabtree figures to compete with Andy Isabella for snaps, as Keesean Johnson has apparently emerged as the favorite in three-wide sets behind Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. The veteran wideout turns 32 next month.

numberFire's models project Crabtree for 43.3 targets, 20.6 receptions, and 247.6 yards in 2019.

Damien Harris 'reinforced' Patriots' confidence in camp

New England Patriots third-round running back Damien Harris has "reinforced" the team's belief that he's simply "a really great football player" with his performance this preseason, writes Mike Reiss of ESPN.com.

What It Means:

Reiss adds that Harris "displayed a hard-charging running style and the ability to catch the ball as well" in his preseason debut last week, in which the rookie rushed 14 times for 80 yards and caught all 4 of his targets for another 23 yards. Harris can handle early-down and passing-game work, so he could step in if either Sony Michel or James White were to miss time.

Harris is the RB48 in numberFire's preseason fantasy rankings. Our models project him for 511.2 yards from scrimmage and 4.07 touchdowns on 105.1 touches as a rookie.

Cardinals' KeeSean Johnson 'may have had best camp' on roster

Arizona Cardinals sixth-round wide receiver KeeSean Johnson "may have had the best training camp of anyone on the Cardinals' roster, veteran or rookie alike," writes ESPN's Josh Weinfuss.

What It Means:

"[Johnson's] displayed a sharp route tree and great hands, both of which have made him an early favorite with the coaching staff," Weinfuss added. The Cardinals' signing of Michael Crabtree on Wednesday night could impact things, but Johnson has received praise all summer long while leaping up the depth chart to emerge as the third wideout behind Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

numberFire's models remain pessimistic on Johnson's outlook, projecting him for only 232.0 yards and 1.22 touchdowns on 18.3 receptions and 32.3 targets. He's the WR116 in our preseason fantasy rankings, directly behind Crabtree (WR115) and a few tiers away from fellow rookie Andy Isabella (WR84).

Ravens' Justice Hill has 'makings' of third-down back

Baltimore Ravens fourth-round running back Justice Hill "has all the makings of being that third-down, change-of-pace back to complement Mark Ingram," writes ESPN's Jamison Hensley.

What It Means:

Hill rushed 10 times for 49 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens' second preseason game and looked impressive while doing so. Mark Ingram is going to lead the way, but there should be enough volume in Baltimore's backfield for Hill to also factor into the fantasy equation.

numberFire's models conservatively project Hill for 393.5 yards and 2.45 touchdowns on 79.8 touches this season. He's the RB63 in our preseason fantasy rankings.

Browns RB coach: Nick Chubb to see more pass work

Cleveland Browns running backs coach Stump Mitchell said Nick Chubb will "be used a little more in the passing game" this season.

What It Means:

“I think he’s going to be special like he was last year," Mitchell said of Chubb. “He’ll be used a little more in the passing game than he was last year. Nick just continues to improve on the skillset that he has, and I think he has a fantastic skillset." Chubb was targeted more once Freddie Kitchens took over for Hue Jackson last season and it sounds like the Browns want that trend to carry over into 2019. Duke Johnson's departure should also translate to more looks. Chubb finished with 20 catches on 29 targets as a rookie.

Chubb is a top-10 running back in numberFire's preseason numberFire's models expect Chubb to snag 40.1 receptions for 311.6 yards and 2.52 touchdowns this season. He's also pegged for 1,138.5 yards and 10.23 touchdowns on the ground. Chubb is a top-10 running back in our preseason fantasy rankings.

Vikings 'raving about' third-rounder Alexander Mattison

The Minnesota Vikings can't stop "raving about" third-round running back Alexander Mattison at training camp, writes Jay Glazer of The Athletic.

What It Means:

Mattison has emerged as Dalvin Cook's handcuff, taking over the role left vacant by Latavius Murray. That could wind up being a productive gig, considering injuries have limited Cook to just 15 games through his first two years in the league. The third-rounder has rushed 19 times for 71 yards (3.7 YPC) through two preseason contests.

numberFire's models expect Mattison to rush 60.3 times for 237.1 yards and 1.71 touchdowns, and catch 20.6 passes for 126.3 yards and 1.00 touchdowns in 2019.

Darwin Thompson reportedly has passed Carlos Hyde on Chiefs' depth chart

The Athletic's Nate Taylor reports Kansas City Chiefs sixth-round running back Darwin Thompson "appears to have leaped" Carlos Hyde on the depth chart.

What It Means:

Thompson has been working ahead of Hyde in camp this week and has even split first-team reps with Damien Williams. Head coach Andy Reid has praised the rookie's all-around abilities and a strong showing in the preseason has helped Thompson's stock too.

numberFire's models currently project Thompson for 278.2 total yards and 1.7 touchdowns. Expect those numbers to rise if he is indeed the RB2 in KC.

Darren Waller again shining at Raiders training camp

On this week's episode of HBO's Hard Knocks, Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller received countless praise from coaches and teammates as he continued continues to impress at training camp.

What It Means:

In the episode, teammates and other members of the Raiders' organization were asked about who has been the most impressive player in camp, and Waller's name came up the most. The tight end played in only four games in 2018 after sitting out all of 2017 due to suspension. Despite admittedly still learning to play the tight end position, Waller is expected to play a significant role in the Raiders' offense this season.

numberFire's models project Waller as the TE25 in fantasy this season with 28.0 catches, 330.6 yards, and 3.7 touchdowns.

Steelers' Vance McDonald to see same snaps in 2019

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald will not play significantly more snaps this season, according to offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner.

What It Means:

"He won't," Fichtner said in regards to McDonald seeing an expanded role in 2019. "He's never going to play the full game. That's never going to happen." McDonald played a career-high 564 snaps (54.6 percent) in 15 games last season while turning in the most productive season of his career, with 50 receptions (72 targets) for 610 yards and 4 touchdowns. Even if he were to only see a modest boost in playing time following the departure of Jesse James, McDonald is capable of returning back-end TE1 production.

McDonald is currently the TE9 in numberFire's preseason fantasy rankings. Our models expect him to catch 53.6 passes on 86.7 targets for 627.5 yards and 5.77 touchdowns in 2019.

Jakeem Grant signs 4-year, $24M extension with Miami

The Miami Dolphins and wide receiver Jakeem Grant have come to terms on a 4-year, $24M extension.

What It Means:

The 27-year-old had his 2018 season cut short by a leg injury but showed enough big-play potential for Miami to want to lock him up long-term. Grant is now under contract until 2023 and will battle with DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson, and Kenny Stills for playing time in Miami.

numberFire's models project Grant for just 18.4 catches, 270.2 yards, and 2.0 touchdowns in 2019.

Rams' Darrell Henderson expected to see 9-12 touches a game

Los Angeles Rams third-round pick Darrell Henderson is expected to see 9-12 touches per game this season, writes Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic.

What It Means:

Henderson is still competing with second-year back John Kelly for the change-of-pace role behind Todd Gurley, per Bonsignore, so those touches will likely go to the winner of that battle, not necessarily Henderson. The main takeaway is that the Rams are looking to spread things around more to take some of the load off Gurley. It remains to be seen how that will manifest in the backfield.

numberFire's models believe Henderson will average 12.0 touches a game as a rookie. He's pegged for 710.2 yards and 4.09 touchdowns on 165.6 carries, and 201.0 yards and 1.19 touchdowns on 26.8 receptions. Henderson is the RB34 in our preseason fantasy rankings.

Chargers' Melvin Gordon's holdout expected to leak into season

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is expected to continue his holdout into the regular season, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports.

What It Means:

Rapoport says that the negotiations have not progressed as hoped, and that Gordon will continue to train in Florida for the "foreseeable future."

Our models currently project Gordon to run for 943.5 yards and 9.5 touchdowns on 191.3 carries.

Seahawks' Rashaad Penny could be 'falling further' behind Chris Carson

Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny is "falling further" behind Chris Carson this preseason, says NBC Sports Northwest's Joe Fann.

What It Means:

Penny only has 13 yards on 12 carries this preseason, while Carson is averaging 5.0 yards per carry. Carson got the bulk of the work last season, getting 247 carries, which was almost 55% of the team's running back carries (despite missing two games). Penny only got 85 carries.

Our models project Carson to rush for 1,147.0 yards and 7.5 touchdowns 247.9 carries. Penny is forecasted to run for 624.6 yards and 3.3 touchdowns on 127.1 carries.

Dante Pettis played with 49ers' starters in exhibition

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis played all 11 snaps with the first-team offense in Monday night's second preseason game against the Denver Broncos.

What It Means:

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan previously said Dante Pettis must "compete" for a starting role, leading to speculation about the receiver's place on the depth chart, but this indicates he's in good standing. Marquise Goodwin also logged all 11 snaps with Jimmy Garoppolo and the ones on Monday night.

Pettis is the WR35 in numberFire's preseason fantasy rankings. Our models expect him to record 761.8 yards and 6.44 touchdowns on 60.5 receptions and 99.3 targets in 2019.

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