Training camps and preseason games are underway. While it’s great to see football back, unfortunately that also means injuries. As usual, the injuries are piling up during training camp. Here’s the status of players with the most interest to the fantasy community.
Active/PUP: A player who, as a result of football-related injuries, is unable to take part in training camp practices may be assigned to the preseason PUP list. Players can be moved off the PUP list to the active roster at any time, even after one practice. (Wikipedia)
Tom Brady, QB Patriots – Brady sat out the Patriots’ first preseason game with a sore back. The injury is minor and there’s a good chance Brady would have been held out of the game even if his back were 100 percent. There’s nothing to see here. The Patriots are just being cautious with the future Hall of Famer. He’ll be under center when New England plays the Texans in Week 1.
Carson Wentz, QB Eagles – Wentz is being held out of the preseason while he recovers from knee surgery he had last November. He’s still hoping to play Week 1 but the Eagles will obviously be overly cautious with their franchise quarterback, especially with Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles serving as the backup. Even though Wentz is targeting a Week 1 return, fantasy owners need to have another plan in place at quarterback in case he’s still not ready early in the year.
Saquon Barkley, RB Giants – Barkley left Monday’s practice with a leg injury. He had his leg wrapped with ice but shed the ice pack and walked back to the locker room with teammates. Giants coach Pat Shurmur said he believes Barkley is “all right.” The Giants will be ultra-conservative going forward in the preseason even if the injury is minor.
Matt Breida, RB 49ers – Breida suffered a shoulder injury in the 49ers’ first preseason game. The good news is Breida avoided structural damage and should be ready for Week 1, however, he’s expected to miss the rest of the preseason. Breida was having a strong training camp and could eat into Jerick McKinnon’s weekly touches if healthy.
Rex Burkhead, RB Patriots – Burkhead is out with an undisclosed injury. He missed the Patriots’ first preseason game and hasn’t practiced since last Wednesday. Burkhead still has almost a month before the season starts but he’s had trouble staying healthy in the past and he was limited to just 10 games last year. The Patriots are deep at running back but with rookie Sony Michel already sidelined with a knee injury, losing Burkhead for an extended period will be a blow to New England’s offense. Burkhead has an Average Draft Position (ADP) in Round 6.
Corey Clement, RB Eagles – Clement suffered a leg injury in Thursday’s preseason game against the Steelers and hadn’t returned to practice as of Monday. He was seen wearing a sleeve on his right leg. The second-year back will open the season behind Jay Ajayi and have an impact in the passing game and near the goal line. He’s being drafted in Round 10 on average.
Isaiah Crowell, RB Jets – Crowell left Friday’s preseason game against the Falcons with a head injury. He collided with a Falcons’ defender on his way to a 16-yard touchdown reception and was taken to the locker room for evaluation. Crowell may miss some time in the preseason but he has over three weeks to be cleared for the opener.
Derrius Guice, RB Redskins – Guice was the biggest preseason casualty in Week 2. The rookie tore his ACL and will be lost for the season. Guice was in position to be the Redskins’ lead back this year. His absence now opens the door for Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley to see more touches. Thompson is locked in as Washington’s third-down back, while Kelley and Perine will battle for early-down work. None of them offer the fantasy upside of Guice, who had an ADP in Round 3 before the injury.
Marlon Mack, RB Colts – Mack is dealing with a hamstring strain and while it’s not considered a significant injury, he’s expected to miss a few weeks. The Colts are waiting for final word on the injury but if it’s just a strain, Mack could return by the season opener. Mack is the favorite to lead a backfield committee with rookies Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines, along with goal-line vulture Robert Turbin once he returns from a four-game suspension.
Jerick McKinnon, RB 49ers – McKinnon injured his knee in Thursday’s preseason game against the Cowboys. An MRI revealed he’s dealing with a muscle strain. The 49ers gave no timetable for a return but McKinnon is expected to be healthy when San Francisco plays his former team, the Vikings, in Week 1. With McKinnon and Breida both sidelined, Raheem Mostert and Joe Williams will see plenty of work Saturday against the Texans.
C.J. Prosise, RB Seahawks – Prosise was held out of the Seahawks’ preseason opener with a hip injury. It’s the latest setback for a running back once in the mix to play a major role in Seattle’s offense. With Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny set as the Seahawks’ top two backs, Prosise is battling with Mike Davis and J.D. McKissic for a roster spot.
Nelson Agholor, WR Eagles – Agholor is dealing with an undisclosed injury. He sat out the Eagles’ first preseason game and hasn’t practiced since last Monday. The Eagles have been mum on the injury, so we don’t know the severity yet. Agholor had a breakout season in 2017 (62/768/8) and he currently sits with an ADP in Round 10.
Deon Cain, WR Colts – Cain tore his ACL in the Colts’ first preseason game and will miss the remainder of the season. It may not seem like Cain is fantasy relevant but he was having a strong training camp for a team that is arguably the thinnest in the NFL at the receiver position. Cain was battling to be the Colts’ third receiver behind T.Y. Hilton and Ryan Grant. Indianapolis is now down to Chester Rogers, James Wright, K.J. Brent and rookie Daurice Fountain battling for snaps behind its top two receivers.
Alshon Jeffery, WR Eagles – NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports Jeffery could begin the year on the reserve/PUP list, which would cost him the first six games of the season. Jeffery was placed on active/PUP at the start of training camp after having rotator cuff surgery in February. If Jeffrey lands on PUP, it will open up more targets for Agholor, Zach Ertz, Mack Hollins and rookie tight end Dallas Goedert.
DeVante Parker, WR Dolphins – Parker missed Monday’s practice with a hand injury. The injury isn’t believed to be serious but any lost time is notable for a player who has reportedly struggled in training camp. Kenny Still also missed Monday’s practice with an ankle injury. Parker’s ADP is in Round 10, while Stills is being selected in the twelfth round on average.
George Kittle, TE 49ers – It was a tough preseason opener for the 49ers. Like Breida, Kittle went down with a shoulder injury but avoided structural damage. 49ers’ coach Mike Shanahan said he expects Kittle to be ready for the season opener. A popular sleeper this year, Kittle has an ADP in Round 10. Backup Garrett Celek will take over as San Francisco’s top tight end until Kittle returns.