After a couple of innocuous training camp dustups and a big kerfuffle when franchise quarterback Cam Newton got involved in some on-field fisticuffs, leave it to the Jets to go one step beyond. News out of New York is that starting quarterback Geno Smith will miss six to 10 weeks after suffering a broken jaw at the hands of (ex) teammate IK Enemkpali due to what Jets coach Todd Bowles called a “sucker punch” in a locker room scuffle. Ryan Fitzpatrick moves up the depth chart to replace Smith, and Bowles indicated that if the bearded one plays well he can keep the job even after Smith returns. Of course, the Jets are so confident in Fitzpatrick that they’re reportedly having conversations with Rex Grossman and possibly Michael Vick about joining the club.
Might as well get all the bad news out of the way up front. Just when it looked like the Arizona offensive line was turning the corner comes word that Bobby Massie might be looking at a three-game suspension for violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The Cardinals can turn to first-round pick D.J. Humphries to fill the gap. However, as Arizona coach Bruce Arians told reporters during training camp, Humphries’ nickname is “Knee Deep”… because that’s how far coaches have to put a foot up his posterior to motivate him. Any further depletion of the o-line in front of rookie—and currently injured—David Johnson and oft-injured Andre Ellington takes a bite out of the duo’s already-tenuous fantasy values.
- Be sure to check out this year’s “Sleepers & Value Plays.“
On a brighter note, Garrett Hartley has a new job. Hartley edged Jay Feely for the opportunity to replace injured Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham. There’s definitely some fantasy value to tacking on points for a prolific offense such as Pittsburgh’s, though Harley will need to prove the consistency issues that have cost him previous gigs no longer plague him.
Another player moving on up is Tennessee wideout Dorial Green-Beckham. The rookie has just started getting some reps with the Titans’ first string, something Tennessee receivers coach Shawn Jefferson views as a reward. “DGB has shown the ability to pick up on the playbook very well,” Jefferson told the team’s official website. “Putting him in with the first group kind of elevates that sense of urgency for him.” DGB has to be looking forward to Tennessee’s preseason opener this weekend; after sitting out all of last season it will be his first game action since the 2013 season.
Finally, playing tight end for the Redskins has become the NFL equivalent of drumming for Spinal Tap. It should come as little shock that oft-injured starter Jordan Reed is dealing with hamstring soreness that puts his availability for this weekend’s preseason opener in jeopardy. Washington could also be without backup Niles Paul, who has an injured shoulder, and reserve Logan Paulsen, who is battling a toe injury. Plenty of reps for Chase Dixon and Devin Mahina, two guys who won’t even be on fantasy teams run by their own family members this season.