Devonta Freeman - RB - Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) will not play against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Aug. 20. Head coach Dan Quinn said Freeman's condition is not serious.
Huddle Up: There have been no indications Freeman will much more time. Since Ezekiel Elliott's suspension announcement, there has been some debate as to what running back should be the next one off the board after David Johnson and Le'Veon Bell. Freeman is as good a candidate as any, as he is the only back over the last two seasons to rush for over 1,000 yards and score at least 10 touchdowns both years. The fact he adds 50-plus receptions makes him a rock-solid RB1.
Julio Jones - WR - Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will not play against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Aug. 20.
Huddle Up: It appears Jones is being put in bubble wrap in August for all intents and purposes, but he has been participating in practice on a regular basis and the Falcons have been clear they expect to use him more often in the red zone this season. Jones also has nothing left to prove to the Falcons either, so making sure he is 100 percent for Week 1 is a prudent move. He is well worth a top-five overall pick in fantasy drafts.
Le'Veon Bell - RB - Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell, who has yet to report to training camp, reportedly turned down a five-year contract extension averaging more than $12 million per year annually that his agent and the team had agreed upon right before the July 17 NFL deadline for franchise players to sign long-term deals.
Huddle Up: It has already been reported that Bell intends to report to camp in the coming days, but Bell's desire to reset the market for running backs may ultimately end up hurting him. While he does have a history of keeping himself in good shape and coming back from long layoffs, the history of players - especially running backs - missing most of camp and holding up for the season is not great. At this point, a compelling case can be made to slide Bell down fantasy draft boards every so slightly.
Cam Newton - QB - Carolina Panthers
Updating a previous report, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (shoulder) is 'throwing more each day and feels fine,' according to a source. He is reportedly on track to play in the team's next preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday, Aug. 24, however.
Huddle Up: If so, this would be a welcome development, even if he is rusty and only plays a couple of series. For what it is worth, Newton reportedly wants to play but the team is said to be exercising caution. If Newton plays next week, owners need to keep their expectations in check, as he will most likely be rusty.
Cam Newton - QB - Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (shoulder) will not play versus the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, Aug. 19. Head coach Ron Rivera made the decision after the second of two joint practices against the Titans on Thursday, Aug. 17, and Newton did not throw in team drills during either practice. 'You could tell he was rusty. A couple late (balls) on the decisions he made. When he was throwing the ball, he was throwing the ball well, so we're not concerned about that. Now it's just a matter of him working himself back into shape where he can go out and take normal reps instead of us having to make sure we monitor him,' Rivera said.
Huddle Up: The Panthers remain unconcerned - at least publicly - about Newton's availability for the season opener, but owners probably need to consider him a low-end QB1 at this point and back him up with another quarterback with a solid early-season schedule, such as Carson Palmer, to protect themselves against a predictable slow start from Newton.
T.J. Yeldon - RB - Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars RB T.J. Yeldon (hamstring) suffered a left hamstring strain in the first quarter and did not return against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday, Aug. 17. Yeldon finished with two carries for two yards.
Huddle Up: While the severity of the injury was not immediately known it's hard to imagine the team will push Yeldon with three-plus weeks before the opener, which hopefully will be plenty of time for him to heal. Perhaps it will end the charade that anyone other than Leonard Fournette will start in Week 1. Barring unexpectedly bad news this shouldn't affect Yeldon's fantasy profile as a late-round Fournette handcuff or RB5 stash.
Tyrod Taylor - QB - Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor will remain atop the depth chart, according to post-game comments from head coach Sean McDermott Thursday, Aug. 17. Taylor struggled badly during the team's preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Huddle Up: This seems like a silly question, but Taylor's struggles coupled with some surprisingly competent play from Nathan Peterman looks to have opened that can of worms. It's highly unlikely that, barring injury, anyone other than Taylor will be under center for Buffalo in Week 1, but in the wake of last week's trades and Taylor's reworked contract it's no longer unthinkable that the team could go full tank mode if things go south early on. It's something to consider when deciding whether or not you want Taylor as your QB2 for 2017.
Maxx Williams - TE - Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens TE Maxx Williams had two catches for 48 yards, including a 40-yard grab, against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, Aug. 17. It was the best that Williams has looked all summer, according to ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
Huddle Up: Playing tight end for the Ravens has been the 2017 equivalent of drumming for Spinal Tap, and while Nick Boyle has gotten most of the sleeper buzz during the preseason, don't completely dismiss Williams. If he can stay healthy (and that's a big 'if'), Williams could be someone worth keeping an eye on.
Chad Henne - QB - Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said QB Blake Bortles has to earn the starting quarterback job and indicated QB Chad Henne has a chance to take the job. Marrone said he is looking for the best person to lead the offense.
Huddle Up: Bortles struggled last season and is having problems during the preseason, so he may have to play well in the third preseason if he wants to start Week 1. Owners can monitor the situation over the next few weeks, but neither Bortles nor Henne is a great option in fantasy leagues.
Allen Robinson - WR - Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson caught five passes for 40 yards in the preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday, Aug. 17.
Huddle Up: Robinson had a disappointing 2016 season but was still able to post 883 yards and six touchdowns. He will continue to be the Jaguars' No. 1 receiver and should see a solid amount of targets. Robinson probably can be considered a No. 2 receiver in most fantasy leagues.
Mike Evans - WR - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans caught five passes for 57 yards in the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Aug. 17.
Huddle Up: Evans finished in the top six in receptions (96), receiving yards (1,321) and touchdowns (12) in 2016 and will continue to be one of the top receivers in the NFL. He will be a No. 1 fantasy receiver in all leagues and likely will be a first- or second-round pick in drafts.
Doug Martin - RB - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed for 30 yards and one touchdown on five carries in the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Aug. 17.
Huddle Up: Martin will miss the first three games of the regular season because of a suspension, so it is not known what his role will be when he returns. He has a chance to be a No. 2 fantasy running back if he is the starter when he returns from his suspension.
Jameis Winston - QB - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston went 21-for-29 for 196 yards in the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Aug. 17.
Huddle Up: Winston is coming off a solid 2016 season when he is 4,090 yards and 28 touchdowns and should be able to improve on those stats. He will have new options to throw to this season in DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard, which will help his fantasy status. He probably should be considered a low-end No. 1 quarterback in most leagues.
LeGarrette Blount - RB - Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles RB LeGarrette Blount rushed for eight yards on five carries in the preseason game against Buffalo Bills Thursday, Aug. 17. He also caught two passes for 15 yards during the game.
Huddle Up: Blount will be the main ball carrier for the Eagles this season and probably will not be used much in the passing game. He probably should be considered a No. 3 running back in standard leagues because of his touchdown potential. He will not have as much value in point-per-reception leagues.
Tyrod Taylor - QB - Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor went 8-for-18 for 53 yards and two interceptions in the preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday, Aug. 17.
Huddle Up: Taylor is working with a new receiver corps this season and is still trying to build chemistry with them. He has posted solid numbers over the last few season and should be considered a No. 2 quarterback in most fantasy leagues. His running ability will help his fantasy value.
Terrance West - RB - Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens RB Terrance West ran the football six times for minus two yards in the preseason game against the Miami Dolphins Thursday, Aug. 17.
Huddle Up: West probably will be the starting running back for the Ravens this season but will share playing time with Danny Woodhead. He should receive most of the carries as long as he is healthy and could be a No. 3 running back or flex option for owners.
Joe Flacco - QB - Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco (back) is not expected to practice this week because the team is sticking to their timeline for him, according to head coach John Harbaugh.
Huddle Up: Flacco will not play in the preseason but could return to practice in a week or two. He is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season as long as he does not suffer a setback and should be considered a No. 2 fantasy quarterback.
Eric Ebron - TE - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions TE Eric Ebron (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Aug. 17.
Huddle Up: Ebron has spent most of training camp on the sidelines because of his hamstring injury, so owners will need to continue to monitor the situation. He can be a low-end No. 1 fantasy tight end when healthy, but owners probably should take another strong tight end option if they draft Ebron.
Eli Manning - QB - New York Giants
New York Giants QB Eli Manning will play in the second and third preseason games, according to head coach Ben McAdoo.
Huddle Up: Manning sat out the first preseason game but should play at least a quarter in the second game and probably the first half in the third game. He will have a solid group of receivers to work with this season and can be considered a high-end No. 2 fantasy quarterbacks.
Jay Cutler - QB - Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins QB Jay Cutler made his preseason debut Thursday, August 17, against the Baltimore Ravens, working two drives before being removed from the contest. He completed 3-of-6 passes for 24 yards.
Huddle Up: Nothing too special to report from Cutler's debut, though it would have been more eventful had a 31-yard pass to DeVante Parker not been called back due to holding. Additionally, he also had to work through a 3rd-and-27 situation thanks to a pair of holding penalties. The main takeaway, though, was that Cutler targeted Parker four times overall in his limited time on the field. It's still too early to dub him a fine QB1 option in most formats, but the promise is there.