Did you miss him? Chris Johnson officially returned to the NFL Monday, agreeing to a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals. CJ?K’s deal included no signing bonus, but he could earn up to $2 million if he rushes for 1,300 yards and makes the Pro Bowl. Johnson joins a depth chart tweaked by injuries; one advantage to his signing is that he possesses a skill set similar to that of oft-injured starter Andre Ellington: super-fast and not particularly effective between the tackles.
The quarterback competition in Buffalo has winnowed its way down to two, as E.J. Manual continues to fall off the pace. That leaves Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor, and according to Bills GM Doug Whaley Taylor is the current leader. “It’s a production-based business,” Whaley told the Buffalo News. “He produced with the twos so we’re excited for him to get in there Thursday with the ones to see what he can do.” Fantasy owners know that even though Taylor might be winning this in-house battle, there are no fantasy winners here.
- Be sure to check out “Targets, Touches & TDs: Pre-Season Week 1.“
Offensive line news tends to fly under the fantasy radar, but there are a couple items that should be noted. First, the Vikings lost road-grader right tackle Phil Loadholt for the season to a torn Achilles’ tendon. It’s at least a hiccup for Adrian Peterson, though the Vikings did land T.J. Clemmings in the fourth round and will throw the rookie into the NFL fire in Loadholt’s stead.
The Chiefs will be without left tackle Eric Fisher, but only for a couple of weeks. The top pick in the 2013 draft suffered a sprained ankle in practice, but an MRI revealed the injury was relatively minor. Still, Fisher could use as many reps as possible to start living up to his draft position. The injury shouldn’t impact Jamaal Charles, who has found success despite the struggling Kansas City line; as for Alex Smith, there isn’t much in the way of fantasy implications to his game anyway.
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Finally, the Redskins are desperate for tight ends. Chris Cooley is, quite literally, begging for a return shot at the NFL. And yet, Washington hasn’t even placed a call to their former player. Why Cooley would want to subject himself to the Spinal Tap drummer position of the NFL is understandable, but given that even the Redskins aren’t on the line… maybe Cooley should take that as a sign.