Drew Brees was back at practice this week after struggling with an oblique injury for the past two weeks. He is expected to play about half of the Saints’ preseason game on Saturday. … Matt Schaub is locked in as the Raiders’ Week 1 QB. Barring injury, Derek Carr will begin the season as Schaub’s backup. … After both Browns QBs looked less than spectacular this preseason, Brian Hoyer has won the starting job over Johnny Manziel. Hoyer was deemed to be more NFL-ready right now. Johnny Football will be Johnny Clipboard for the time being. It’s best not to draft either Browns QB. Nevertheless, if you insist on drafting one for the immediate future, Hoyer is the starter. … Robert Griffin III is dealing with a leg bruise after taking a hit in the Redskins game versus the Browns. RG3 didn’t look awful on the field, but he did throw an ugly pick and left himself open to take some unnecessary hits. … It was disclosed this week that Colin Kaepernick played almost all of last season while dealing with foot injuries. This could be good news for owners hoping to see an increase in Kaepernick’s rushing yards this season. On the other hand, it could just be more excuses coming out of 49ers camp to justify the Kaepernick hype train… Geno Smith will be the Jets’ Week 1 starter. However, Michael Vick may still be the QB to own in New York.
San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick
Le’Veon Bell’s fantasy value has already taken a hit thanks to the emergence of LeGarrette Blount. Last weekend, Bell admitted that he will probably lose goal-line carries to Blount. Then both RBs were arrested on Wednesday and charged with possession of marijuana. Bell was additionally charged with DUI. Neither back is expected to be suspended this season. … Buccaneers rookie RB Charles Sims will miss 12-14 weeks while recovering from surgery to repair torn ankle ligaments. Mike James is also out with an injured shoulder. The severity of his injury has not yet been determined. However, it seems like it may be a while before James returns. Following this double dose of injury news, head coach Lovie Smith came out and said Doug Martin will now be a “bell cow” for the Bucs. … In the least surprising news of the preseason, Stevan Ridley fumbled and then was benched in the Patriots’ second preseason game. It looks like the Pats’ backfield will be just as unpredictable as ever this season. … After being listed as the RB3 in Tennessee, Bishop Sankey is now dealing with fumbling issues. Shonn Greene, the alleged RB1, hyperextended his knee last week. It does not seem to be too serious, but it is worth mentioning that it’s the same knee Greene had two surgeries on in the past 12 months. Sankey saw an increased workload in his absence. … In Seattle, Robert Turbin has clearly outshined Christine Michael this summer. Turbin is listed as the RB2, and there have been no signs to indicate that will change in the near future. Michael’s predicted emergence as a threat to Marshawn Lynch’s fantasy value may have been extremely premature. … Rams rookie Tre Mason has really struggled in pass protection. This could cost him a good amount of playing time, especially considering Sam Bradford’s injury woes. … LeSean McCoy has a mild case of turf toe and was taken to the locker room Thursday night for X-rays on his thumb. The X-rays came back negative, and McCoy was diagnosed with a sprain. The Eagles also acquired promising young back Kenjon Barner from the Panthers. He has dealt with injuries and was buried on Carolina’s depth chart. Nonetheless, the kid has a lot of talent. … Montee Ball has returned to practice after undergoing an appendectomy earlier this month. … Saints RB Mark Ingram has declared himself “an all-purpose back” who “can do everything.” This is most likely Ingram’s last shot to make a name for himself in New Orleans. ... Steven Jackson is set to play Week 1 for the Falcons. His injured hamstring is expected to be fully healed by then. … In another shocking turn of events, the always-disappointing Trent Richardson is off to a disappointing start to his season, even if it is only August. … Jeremy Hill will take snaps with the first team in the Bengals’ third preseason game. … Jamaal Charles will be held out of the Chiefs’ third preseason game as a precaution with his injured foot. However, he did return to practice this week.
Seattle Seahawks RB Christine Michael
The Bears’ No. 3 WR, Marquess Wilson, will miss 12-14 weeks following surgery to fix his broken collarbone. Chicago has since signed former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes. Holmes could win that WR3 job. … Riley Cooper went through his first full practice in more than two weeks on Sunday and played in Thursday night’s preseason game versus the Steelers. In that game, Jeremy Maclin went down clutching his knee. It was a very scary moment, but Maclin did manage to return. … Sammy Watkins was diagnosed with a bruised rib after leaving the Bills’ preseason game last weekend. The injury was not serious, and he returned to practice early this week. … Giants first-round pick Odell Beckham may have re-injured his hamstring during 7-on-7 drills Tuesday. He has missed all four of the Giants’ preseason games, including Friday’s meeting with the Jets. … Malcom Floyd was crowned MVP of Chargers camp “in a runaway” by a team beat writer. Floyd suffered a scary, career-threatening neck injury last season. … As if Calvin Johnson didn’t cause enough problems for defenses, now the Lions want to move him around in formations and get creative. Megatron is already a nightmare for everybody he opposes. … More excuses are steadily streaming out of San Francisco. Michael Crabtree claims he was not himself last year. We already knew he was coming off an Achilles tear, but we always have more respect for a player when he reminds us of his issues. … Julio Jones still doesn’t have full confidence in his surgically repaired foot. He has dealt with foot issues throughout his career. When healthy, Jones is an elite WR1. … Andre Johnson is showing no signs of rust in Houston after an extended holdout and a hamstring injury. Johnson reportedly looked great in practice all week. … Josh Gordon will not get his appeal ruling this week. Fantasy owners will have to continue to wait and hope. … Titans athletic phenom Justin Hunter has been “all but unstoppable” at the goal line in camp. He has big-time breakout potential this season.
Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins
Per usual, Rob Gronkowski headlines our tight end portion of this article. Gronk said he is planning to play all 16 this season. The significance of that statement is he obviously expects to play in Week 1. His 50/50 chance of playing in the season opener has increased to about 60/40. … Greg Olsen returned to practice after missing about a week due to a sore calf muscle. The Panthers are really going to need Olsen this season, so they better hope he can stay healthy.