The Bears continue to play a waiting game with first-round pick Kevin White, who has yet to claim his expected spot opposite Alshon Jeffery this training camp. White is still recovering from a shin injury suffered this offseason; as for his return, Bears coach John Fox told the Chicago Sun-Times, “Sooner rather than later is what I hope, but it’s just a hope.”
Adding insult to injury, Jeffery sat out Monday’s practice after suffering a shoulder injury during Sunday’s session. The injury is believed to be minor, but with the Bears implementing a new offense under a new coordinator it would be nice to get the starters together for a few reps.
Victor Cruz missed much of last season after blowing out his knee, but according to NFL Media he’s been “a significant participant in team drills” through the early part of Giants camp. Added NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano, “Not only is he on the field, but he kind of looks like the old Victor Cruz.” If Eli Manning has the old Cruz on one side and Odell Beckham Jr. on the other he could outproduce his brother fantasy-wise this season.
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New to the receiver position, Terrelle Pryor is already making waves in Cleveland. Not that it’s hard to stand out in a group headed by Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline, but it’s beginning to look as if Pryor not only has a future at the position but could also make a fantasy impact early on. “He’s very, very talented,” Browns receivers coach Joker Phillips told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “There’s no question. The guy’s talented, and talent wins ball games. Now, we’ve got to challenge that talent with the techniques that we have and give him a chance to be successful out wide.” The Browns could certainly use a lift in the passing game, and perhaps Pryor is the guy to provide said lift.
If you had a quarter for every player slapped with the “star of training camp” label this month you could fund the Donald’s presidential campaign. With that in mind, Michael Crabtree is drawing rave reviews through three days of workouts in Oakland. Crabtree and Amari Cooper form an intriguing combo for sophomore quarterback Derek Carr; add in rookie tight end Clive Walford, who was the star of the OTAs, and the Raiders’ passing game might just be blipping on the fantasy radar.
Okay, one more “star of camp”: Vikings rookie receiver Stefon Diggs, who scored twice in the team’s scrimmage Saturday night. One person who isn’t buying the hype, however, is Diggs. “I don’t even remember the touchdowns,” Diggs told the Pioneer Press. “I remember all the reps I lost. I could have attacked the ball better (on one of his TDs). You can always get better. I got to win more.” Diggs will have a tough time moving Jarius Wright out of the slot, but he’s making an impression as both a receiver and a punt returner.
The Cardinals use their tight end like the Kardashians use restraint, but that may change with Jermaine Gresham and Troy Niklas both cleared for practice. Ex-Bengal Gresham has been on the PUP list recovering from back surgery, while Niklas was on the NFI list due to ankle surgery and hamstring issues. Will either earn a larger share of Carson Palmer’s attention than Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd or John Brown? Unlikely, but Gresham in particular could carve out a niche as a plug-in fantasy tight end.
Another tight end with a bit of injury history, Jordan Reed is hoping a change in diet will keep him on the field this year. “I think once I stay healthy and be able to play 16 games, I could [add] a lot more production for this offense,” Reed told the Washington Times. Reed said he has cut out junk food and fried food and is now living off “a clean diet” and plenty of fluids. Anything different has to help, considering Reed has missed 12 games through his first two seasons due to (deep breath) a bruised knee, a strained quad, a concussion, strains to both hamstrings, a bruised foot, a hip pointer, a sprained thumb, and a stomach virus. Given his productivity when healthy, however, there are plenty of reasons for fantasy owners to support his new lifestyle.
Finally, word out of Buffalo is that Matt Cassel has taken starter reps the past three days and looks to be the front-runner in the Bills’ quarterback battle. Fantasy-wise, however, there are no winners in this competition.