Recent NFL Player News

Raiders' Antonio Brown participates in Saturday's walkthrough

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown "took all the reps" in Saturday's walkthrough.

What It Means:

According to head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr, Brown is ready to contribute despite missing time with a foot ailment. "He came in and, no mental errors, and in this offense, that’s not easy to do," said Carr to the media. "You can tell Antonio’s been studying because he came out and didn’t miss a beat. He was a part of everything we did today.”

Heading into the 2019-2020 season, numberFire's power rankings rate Brown as the ninth overall wide receiver. Our models project the 31-year old to haul in 103.5 receptions for 1,260.2 yards and 9.6 touchdowns on 156.9 targets.

Chargers' Derwin James suffers a right foot fracture

Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Derwin James has been diagnosed with a right foot fracture.

What It Means:

"I would like for him to play in 2019, but I don’t know that for sure," said Chargers' head coach Anthony Lynn. It looks like James will be out for multiple weeks if not months. The second year safety will be hard to replace after ranking as one of the best in coverage last year. This is a huge blow to the Chargers' pass defense.

Heading into the 2019-2020 season, numberFire's power rankings rate the Chargers as the seventh best pass defense. In Week 1 of the regular season, Los Angeles will face a Colts pass offense ranked fifth if quarterback Andrew Luck is healthy.

Patriots' Josh Gordon reinstated by the NFL, eligble to play Week 1

New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon has been reinstated to the NFL and will not have to serve a suspension.

What It Means:

Gordon will not be able to report to the Patriots facility until Sunday and will not be eligible to play in next week's preseason game. However, he will be available to play Week 1 of the regular season, giving the Patriots' receiving corp a much-needed boost.

Gordon caught 41 passes for 737 yards and 4 touchdowns on 71 targets last season for the Pats and Cleveland Browns.

Source: Ben Volin

Chargers' Keenan Allen (ankle) reportedly expected to play in Week 1 of the regular season

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen suffered an ankle injury "not considered to be serious" during this week's practice.

What It Means:

According to ESPN, Allen's injury "could knock him out of the Chargers’ remaining three preseason games" but the team still expects him to be ready for the start of the regular season. If he can stay healthy, fantasy players should expect Allen to lead the team in targets, catches, and yardage as their top receiver.

For the 2019-2020 season, our models project Allen to produce 100.7 receptions for 1,310.7 yards and 7.6 touchdowns on 146.4 targets. Allen is numberFire's fifth overall ranked wide receiver.

Chiefs beat: Carlos Hyde not making final roster

Kansas City Chiefs running back Carlos Hyde will not make the final 53-man roster, according to Nate Taylor of The Athletic.

What It Means:

This stems from Hyde's underwhelming showing in the Chiefs' preseason opener, but Taylor hedges by saying Hyde could retain a roster spot with a "good performance" on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Hyde winds up not making final cuts, it would be a boon for sixth-rounder Darwin Thompson's outlook. Damien Williams is expected to handle lead back duties for Kansas City.

numberFire's models believe Hyde will make the roster and serve as Williams' primary backup this season, with 9.6 touches and 36.6 yards per game. He's the RB43 in our preseason fantasy rankings.

Cam Newton's deep ball 'biggest surprise' for Carolina

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is surprising with deep throws at training camp, writes Brendan Marks of The Charlotte Observer.

What It Means:

Marks describes the "return of Cam Newton's deep ball" as the "biggest surprise" so far at Panthers' camp, noting that the 30-year-old "could barely toss a ball 10 yards without visible pain" as recently as last December. Newton appears healthy and ready to produce as he comes off his second shoulder surgery in three years.

numberFire's models project Newton for 3,857.8 passing yards with 24.13 touchdowns and 12.2 interceptions this season, as well as 555.0 yards and 5.71 touchdowns on the ground. He's the QB5 in our preseason fantasy rankings.

Curtis Samuel 'practically impossible to cover' at Panthers' camp

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel has been named the offensive MVP of training camp by Brendan Marks of The Charlotte Observer.

What It Means:

Samuel has been "practically impossible to cover" and makes "one or two plays every day that bring a wow-factor," Marks writes. Earlier this week, NFL reporter Albert Breer said Samuel is "primed for a breakout" in his third season. The former second-round pick has received steady hype throughout the summer and could supplant D.J. Moore as Cam Newton's top target.

Samuel is the WR36 in numberFire's preseason fantasy rankings. Our models expect him to catch 62.3 passes on 100.5 targets for 731.0 yards and 4.48 touchdowns this season.

Mike Gesicki still struggling in Dolphins camp

Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki has struggled in training camp, the Miami Herald reports.

What It Means:

Gesicki has reportedly not shown consistency nor the improvement the team was looking for, while Nick O'Leary has looked better as a pass-catcher.

Our models project Gesicki to catch 37.6 passes for 329.8 yards and 2.2 touchdowns this season.

Delanie Walker expects to play this preseason for Tennessee

Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker (ankle) expects to play in the team's second preseason game on Saturday.

What It Means:

Walker is dealing with an ankle injury and seems to be physically read to appear in game action.

Our models project Walker to catch 54.4 passes for 577.4 yards and 3.9 touchdowns this season.

Source: Jim Wyatt

Rashard Higgins in line to be Cleveland's third receiver

Cleveland Browns receiver Rashard Higgins is reportedly the leading candidate to be the team's No. 3 receiver in Antonio Callaway's absence.

What It Means:

Callaway has been hit with a four-game suspension, so Higgins could start on the outside with Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry in the slot in three-receiver sets. Higgins has reportedly had a strong training camp.

Our models project Higgins to catch 35.4 passes for 436.2 yards and 2.4 touchdowns.

Jimmy Garoppolo throws 5 INTs in Wednesday practice

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw five interceptions in Wednesday's practice.

What It Means:

The picks came on 5 consecutive pass attempts. It obviously isn't great, but it is also just practice. In two seasons with the 49ers, he has a 3.0% interception rate, which is worse than the league average, but we are only talking about a 267-attempt sample. Over his first 94 passes in New England, he did not throw a single interception.

Our models project Garoppolo to throw for 4,052.2 yards and 23.3 touchdowns, with 13.1 interceptions (good for a 2.5% interception rate, which would be slightly above last year's league average of 2.4%).

Vikings trying to trade Laquon Treadwell

The Minnesota Vikings have made wide receiver Laquon Treadwell available for trade, per Sports Illustrated.

What It Means:

Minnesota is hoping to get a Day 3 draft pick for the former first-rounder as he has fallen behind Chad Beebe for the number three-wide receiver role. If they can not find any takers, there is a real possibility the Vikes cut Treadwell loose before the regular season.

In three seasons with Minnesota, Treadwell has collected just 56 catches, 517 yards, and 1 touchdown in over 40 games played.

Odell Beckham misses Browns' practice with hip pointer

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham sat out practice on Wednesday with a hip pointer.

What It Means:

Beckham was able to take part in individual drills but sat out the team portion of practice. He may sit out on Thursday as well, but the Browns are not concerned and appear to be taking a cautious approach with their stud receiver.

numberFire's models project Beckham as the WR7 in fantasy this season with 90.4 catches, 1,340.8 yards, and 9.6 touchdowns.

Eagles' rookie JJ Arcega-Whiteside 'could factor in 2019'

Philadelphia Eagles second-round wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside "could factor in 2019", tweets Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports.

What It Means:

The Eagles are "particularly excited about some of what they’re seeing" from the 57th overall pick, per Robinson. Arcega-Whiteside has earned praise throughout the summer and could potentially take snaps away from Nelson Agholor if he finishes preseason out strong.

numberFire's metrics project Arcega-Whiteside for 38.1 targets, 23.8 receptions, 315.9 yards, and 2.01 touchdowns in 2019.

Chris Carson expected to see two-thirds of Seahawks' backfield touches

Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson is expected to see "at least two-thirds of the workload," writes Joe Fann of NBC Sports Northwest.

What It Means:

Rashaad Penny "will be involved," Fann added, but there's no questioning that Carson has emerged as the lead back in Seattle. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said Tuesday that he wants Carson to see around 50 targets in his third NFL season.

numberFire's models believe Carson will record 1,147.0 rushing yards, 169.3 receiving yards, and 8.45 touchdowns in 2019. He's the RB20 in our preseason fantasy rankings.

Rashaad Penny 'clear' second fiddle in Seahawks' backfield

Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny "is the clear No. 2 in the 1-2 punch" between him and Chris Carson, writes Joe Fann of NBC Sports Northwest.

What It Means:

"I anticipate Carson taking at least two-thirds of the workload, but Penny will still get a few series a game," Fann added. Carson has emerged as the preferred option between the two, but Penny should still see enough volume in the Seahawks' offense to remain fantasy-relevant.

numberFire's models expect Penny to rush 127.1 times for 624.6 yards and 3.33 touchdowns in his second NFL season, with another 23.9 catches for 169.6 yards and 1.17 touchdowns. He's the RB36 in our preseason fantasy rankings.

Niners' George Kittle (calf tightness) is day to day

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (calf tightness) is day to day, per head coach Kyle Shanahan.

What It Means:

Kittle has missed some practice time with the injury but the Niners do not believe the ailment is anything to worry about. They appear to be taking it cautiously to ensure Kittle is healthy for Week 1.

numberFire's models project Kittle as the TE2 in fantasy for 2019 with 88.1 catches, 1,183.1 yards, and 6.8 touchdowns on 133.7 targets.

Kenyan Drake injures foot, Dolphins hopeful for Week 1

Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake is in a walking boot due to a right foot injury.

What It Means:

Drake was seen in a walking boot on Wednesday after injuring his foot at Tuesday's practice. Dolphins head coach Brian Flores described it as "a little injury" and expressed optimism that Drake will be ready for Week 1. Kalen Ballage will operate as Miami's starting running back in the meantime.

Assuming Drake plays all season, he is the RB30 in numberFire's preseason fantasy rankings. He's projected for 705.2 rushing yards, 395.8 receiving yards, and 5.68 total touchdowns in 2019.

Tampa Bay working on restoring Ronald Jones' confidence

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been working on restoring second-year running back Ronald Jones' confidence this offseason, according to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com.

What It Means:

Jones had a disastrous rookie season for the Bucs and was turned in an excellent training camp by all reports so far. He currently is second on the running back depth chart behind Peyton Barber, but that could change with a strong showing this preseason.

numberFire's models currently have Jones as the RB42 in fantasy with 692.2 total yards and 4.3 touchdowns this season.

Patriots' Damien Harris battling 'minor' hand injury

New England Patriots running back Damien Harris is battling a "minor" hand/wrist injury, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic.

What It Means:

Harris has not seen many reps in practice recently and now we have the reason why. The rookie appears to be clearly behind Sony Michel on the running back depth chart and may not see much action for New England while Michel is healthy.

numberFire's models project Harris for 86.9 carries, 330.7 yards, and 3.0 touchdowns his rookie season.

Source: Jeff Howe

Case Keenum reportedly the 'front-runner' to start for Washington

Washington Redskins quarterback Case Keenum is the "front-runner" to be the team's starting quarterback to begin the 2019 season, per Rick Snider of the Washington Post.

What It Means:

No real surprise here as Keenum's most significant competition will come from rookie Dwayne Haskins with Colt McCoy serving as the third-string option. If Haskins has a strong run the rest of the preseason, or Keenum starts the season off poorly, the veteran could be replaced early in the regular season.

numberFire's models project Keenum as the QB31 in fantasy with 1,741.9 passing yards, 10.9 touchdowns, and 7.7 interceptions on 270.6 passing attempts this season.

Colts' Andrew Luck's calf strain has turned into high-ankle issue

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard said quarterback Andrew Luck is dealing with a high-ankle issue and that it "needs to be addressed."

What It Means:

Luck has been dealing with a calf strain for months now, but the strain appears to be the least of the Colts' concern as Ballard is showing concern over the "high ankle area." Luck continues to experience discomfort with in the area and is now a real question mark to being ready to go for Week 1 of the regular season. Expect plenty of updates as we approach September.

numberFire currently projects Luck as the QB3 for fantasy in 2019 assuming he plays all 16 games. Our models project him for 4,601 passing yards and 34.9 touchdowns.

Cowboys' Amari Cooper dealing with plantar fascia irritation

Dallas Cowboys wider receiver Amari Cooper has missed the last week of practice with plantar fascia irritation.

What It Means:

The injury appears to be a minor one with the Cowboys allowing the receiver to mage the irritation conservatively. Cooper may not play in any preseason games but is not expected to miss any regular-season action.

numberFire's models project Copper as the WR12 in fantasy this season with 86.8 catches, 1,213.1 yards, and 9.1 touchdowns.

Melvin Gordon and the Chargers are still in contact despite holdout

The Los Angeles Chargers and running back Melvin Gordon have kept in contact with each other during the back's holdout.

What It Means:

Gordon has insisted he will not play unless he gets a new contract and has even demanded a trade from the team. While there does not appear to be any progress in contract talks, the fact the two sides have stayed in touch gives the situation a glimmer of hope of being resolved. Gordon appears ready to miss multiple regular-season games at this point, but is still likely to play this season.

numberFire's models still project Gordon as the RB10 this season in fantasy with 943.5 rushing yards, 490.4 receiving yards, and 12.2 total touchdowns in 2019.

Washington's Derrius Guice reportedly still not cleared to play in games

Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice (ACL, hamstring) has still not been cleared to play in games, per John Keim of ESPN.

What It Means:

Guice has been participating in practice as he recovers from knee surgery, that cost him all of 2018, and a hamstring strain suffered earlier this summer. Head coach Jay Gruden is unsure when and if Guice will be able to play in any preseason games. The running back is expected to be brought along slowly this season as he shares backfield reps with Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson.

numberFire projects Guice as the RB32 in fantasy with 743.9 rushing yards, 206.9 receiving yards, and 5.2 touchdowns on 187.7 total touches in 2019.

Source: John Keim

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