Thu Jul 28 1:38pm ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Penny has long injury history
This is the final preview in a series of training camp previews. The previews give you a quick look at each team, going over position battles and injuries to watch in camp. The season is right around the corner.
The Rams won it all last year, so the big story of this camp will be if they can do it again or will they have a Super Bowl hangover. It is so very hard to repeat, but the Rams certainly have the talent to make a run once again. Los Angeles begins their quest for a second straight Super Bowl at the University of California-Irvine in Irvine, Calif.
Position battle: The Rams don’t have a lot going on with position battles. Things are pretty set with this team. The only thing we might keep an eye on is the running back spot. Cam Akers is the starter but his finish to last year was a little concerning, doing little during the Rams playoff run. Akers was returning from a major injury, though, so that could have impacted his play. Either way, Darrell Henderson might make a push for playing time if Akers shows any struggles. We would expect Akers to be fine, but his play is something to watch this camp.
Injury watch: Matthew Stafford had to get an anti-inflammatory shot in his elbow this offseason. He is ready for the start of camp, but is going to be put on a pitch count for his throws. His elbow injury shouldn’t be much of an issue, but is at least something to watch. If he has any setbacks, this might impact the start to his season.
Arizona had high expectations last year but faded down the stretch. Much of this camp will focus on consistency for a whole season. Can the Cardinals play at a high level all year? This team needs to avoid the late-season swoon if they hope to reach expectations. The Cardinals train at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Position battle: With DeAndre Hopkins suspended to start the season, the Cardinals have some openings at receiver. There are targets available. Marquise Brown should start and Rondale Moore will work out of the slot, but the No. 2 receiver opposite Brown is up in the air. A.J. Green, Andy Isabella and Antoine Wesley are the top candidates to win that job. It really is wide open, especially if you consider Green struggled a little last year with his chances.
Injury watch: Marquise Brown injured his hamstring before the start of camp and is going to be slowed some to start camp. The good news is the injury isn’t considered too serious and he should be practicing very shortly. It is an injury to watch, though, because Brown is going to play a big role for his new team. He needs to get healthy and back on the field to get up to speed in the offense.
San Francisco has their franchise quarterback, Trey Lance, taking over this year. This will be the story of camp for the team. Lance has a lot of pressure on him to get better and perform at a high level for the team. He certainly has the talent to do it, but seeing his progress on the field will be something for fantasy owners to keep a close watch. Lance could be a top fantasy player because of his skill set. Lance and his teammates will get a chance to show his stuff at the SAP Performance Facility in Santa Clara, Calif.
Position battle: Elijah Mitchell is the starter for the 49ers, but the top backup job seems wide open. Rookie Tyrion Davis-Price, Jeff Wilson and Trey Sermon are the top options for the job. And this is a position battle to watch because the backup in San Francisco will get touches in this offense. Davis-Price might be the best bet to win the job, but he isn’t going to be handed anything. He will need to earn it.
Injury watch: George Kittle had a calf injury at the end of last season that kept him out of OTAs during the offseason. Kittle should be just fine for the start of camp, but all the missed time because of this calf injury makes it one to keep an eye on to make sure it is properly healed. Kittle has endured some injury issues the last few seasons, so the 49ers are hoping to buck that trend.
Seattle is in a full rebuild mode after trading quarterback Russell Wilson. He has been a mainstay for the team, so it will be interesting to see how the offense looks without Wilson at the helm. The Seahawks are going to have a quarterback battle on their hands. This should be the big focus on camp, seeing which quarterback emerges to start for the Seahawks. Seattle holds training camp at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Wash.
Position battle: For the first time in a long time, the Seahawks will have a new quarterback this year. It is going to be either Geno Smith or Drew Lock. Smith seems to have a slight lead right now, but this job is truly wide open. Both players are going to get their chances to prove their worth. Lock might have the higher ceiling of the two, but needs to clean up his play on the field to win the job.
Injury watch: Rashaad Penny has a long injury history but proved his worth late last season, posting huge numbers in a starting role. He is going to be the starter in this offense as long as he is healthy. Penny already had an injury this offseason, missing some work because of a sore hamstring. Penny will be the starter as long as he is healthy, though. The Seahawks just need him on the field, though, and can’t afford for him to miss any more time.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
San Francisco 49ers left tackle Colton McKivitz (knee), who was filling in for All-Pro Trent Williams (ankle), is out for the rest of the Monday night game against the Los Angeles Rams with a knee injury. Jaylon Moore is now filling in, with Blake Hance on deck. When Moore was forced to enter last Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos, the Broncos defense destroyed the Niners' offensive line and came after quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. San Francisco might have to devote some more help to Moore on Garoppolo's blind side for the rest of this Week 4 game to avoid something similar happening against the Rams strong defense.
New Orleans Saints practice squad RB Latavius Murray will be signed to the Denver Broncos 53-man roster, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: The Broncos have lost Javonte Williams to injury, so Murray should have a role right away. Murray likely will be behind Melvin Gordon in terms of workload, but he could be a flex option against certain opponents.
Linebacker Blake Martinez is signing a deal to join the Las Vegas Raiders according to The Score's Jordan Schultz. Martinez was released by the New York Giants right before the season started after a two-year tenure in the Big Apple. He will rejoin former Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who is now with the Raiders. Martinez posted four straight seasons of at least 144 tackles from 2017 to 2020 and could have some value in IDP leagues if he garners a full-time role with the Raiders. The terms of the deal have yet to be posted.
Los Angeles Rams offensive lineman Coleman Shelton left Week 4's Monday night game against the San Francisco 49ers with an ankle injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the game shortly after. Shelton injured his ankle during the first quarter and then tried to play on the following drive but ultimately ended up heading back into the locker room. Shelton was replaced on the offensive line by Jeremiah Kolone at center. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford will have his hands full for the remainder of the game against the San Francisco defense.
The Denver Broncos signed running back Latavius Murray off of the New Orleans Saints' practice squad on Monday. Murray logged 11 rushes for 57 yards and a touchdown for the Saints against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4 but he will now head to Denver to help fill out the running back room following the season-ending injury to Javonte Williams. Murray will join Melvin Gordon III and Mike Boone with the Broncos. It remains to be seen if Murray will have a role, or even suit up, against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5's Thursday night game after he just played in London on Sunday. Murray will be worth monitoring in fantasy in case he carves out a significant role with the Broncos.
New Orleans Saints RB Latavius Murray and TE J.P. Holtz were returned to the practice squad Monday, Oct. 3, after being on the active roster for the Week 4 game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Cole Beasley was returned to the practice squad Monday, Oct. 3, after being on the active roster for the Week 4 game.
Houston Texans TE Jordan Akins and Mason Schreck were returned to the practice squad Monday, Oct. 3, after being on the active roster for the Week 4 game.
Dynasty | Treylon Burks has been diagnosed with turf toe after being carted off the field in Sunday's game. Dynasty Analysis: The injury looked to be much worse than turf toe, but this is going to keep Burks off the field for a while. This is one of the most difficult injuries to return from during a season, so we'll keep an eye on his rehab starting this week. This is just the latest setback for Burks, who has struggled to stay on the field during his rookie season, let alone produce at a high level. He's in danger of falling out of the top ten rookies should others continue to step up while he's out of the lineup. Dynasty managers have no choice but to hold on to him for the moment.
Dynasty | Tua Tagovailoa will not play for the Dolphins this week against the Jets. Dynasty Analysis: It seems the Dolphins may have received the memo from the rest of America wondering why he was ever on the field last week in the first place. Tua is dealing with a significant concussion and while his date to return to the field is unknown, there is little to no chance we see him until he's more than 100% ready to play. Miami has come under fire for how they've handled his injuries this season and are clearly under the microscope. As for Tua, his ranking of QB16 is secure, but we'll need to see him back on the field before moving him up.
Dynasty | With Brian Robinson set to return from IR, Antonio Gibson's grasp on the starting running back job is tenuous at best. Dynasty Analysis: Robinson was clearly in the lead for the job this summer and Gibson hasn't really done anything to likely convince the Washington coaches he should be the answer. While Robinson may be eased into the job, it seems unlikely Gibson will hold him off for long. Gibson has posted just 173 yards this year, averaging averaging a pedestrian 3.3 yards per carry in the process. At this point, savvy owners are likely looking to peddle him before his ranking of RB21 starts to tank.
Denver Broncos defensive end Randy Gregory (knee) is undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery and will be sidelined anywhere from two to six weeks, depending on how he recovers, according to a source. The good news for Gregory is that his ACL is still intact, so he'll be able to return after a few weeks of rest and recovery. The 29-year-old pass-rusher has been a big force on Denver's defensive line through the first four weeks, compiling two sacks, nine tackles (six solo), seven QB hits and two forced fumbles, so his absence is surely bad news for a Broncos defense that got dominated by the division-rival Las Vegas Raiders in their Week 4 loss. The Broncos defense/special teams unit won't be anything more than a low-upside streaming option in Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Washington Commanders defensive end Chase Young (knee) will not be activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list this week, according to head coach Ron Rivera. Young will miss at least one more game and probably more as he continues to recover from ACL and MCL tears in his right knee last November. The 23-year-old former first-rounder made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season in 2020 when he had 7.5 sacks and 44 tackles (32 solo), but he played in only nine games in 2021 and finished with just 1.5 sacks and 26 tackles (15 solo). At full health, he will be a big boost to the Commanders' pass rush and he should be worth a look in IDP formats down the stretch as well.
Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett said quarterback Russell Wilson (shoulder) would have been limited on Monday if the team had a real practice. Hackett said Wilson "got dinged up a little bit" in the Week 4 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. It's something to keep an eye on, but Wilson doesn't appear to be in any danger of missing the Week 5 contest against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night. The 33-year-old QB accounted for three touchdowns on Sunday (two passing, one rushing), but he threw for only 237 yards on a season-low 25 attempts. Against a Colts defense that's allowing 16.2 fantasy points per game to signal-callers through four weeks, Wilson will be in play as a low-end QB1 in fantasy.
Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said that rookie running back Brian Robinson (knee) will come off the Non-Football Injury list and the team will start his 21-day clock to return on Wednesday. Robinson was cleared by doctors to practice, and Rivera said it looks "very promising" that the 23-year-old could make his NFL debut in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans. It wouldn't be surprising if the Commanders take it slow with Robinson, but once he is ready to contribute, it will be bad news for both Antonio Gibson and pass-catching back J.D. McKissic. Before being shot in an attempted robbery in D.C. just before the start of the regular season, Robinson was trending towards leading Washington's backfield. If he remains available on your league's waiver wire, scoop him up now and stash him.
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said that wide receiver Rashod Bateman (foot) was dealing with a foot injury in the second half of the Week 4 loss to the Buffalo Bills, which is why he was not on the field in the fourth quarter. The Ravens are listing Bateman as day-to-day for now, so fantasy managers will need to keep an eye on his practice status throughout the week leading up to a Week 5 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football. Unless the 22-year-old suffers a setback this week, he should be on track to suit up this week. He played a season-low 44 percent of the snaps on Sunday and caught just three of six targets for 17 yards. With better health in Week 5, fantasy managers will be hoping he can bounce back after scoring touchdowns in each of the first two weeks.
With Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (knee) out for the season due to a torn ACL, the Broncos will have to rely more on Melvin Gordon III, who has fumbled five times in his last 44 carries over five games. Sunday's Week 4 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders marked the third time a Gordon fumble has been returned for a touchdown in the Broncos' last 12 games. The 29-year-old was listed as limited on Monday's practice estimate with a neck injury, but he should be fine ahead of Thursday night's Week 5 game against the Indianapolis Colts, where he should lead Denver's backfield despite his fumbling issues. Mike Boone might be involved as well the rest of the way, but Gordon should be Denver's primary back, giving him RB2 upside moving forward.
San Francisco 49ers rookie wide receiver Danny Gray (hip) and defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw (knee) are both officially inactive on Monday night against the division-rival Los Angeles Rams. The Niners also placed linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair (knee) on Injured Reserve. Tight end Ross Dwelley (rib) and defensive tackle Arik Armstead (foot), who were questionable, are officially active. Gray wasn't able to practice all week and came into this one doubtful to play. Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk will continue to work as the team's top pass-catchers, as well as tight end George Kittle. Jauan Jennings and Ray-Ray McCloud will battle for scraps against a tough Rams defense Monday night.
The San Francisco 49ers promoted wide receivers Willie Snead IV and Malik Turner and running back Tevin Coleman from the practice squad to the active roster for Monday night's game against the division-rival Los Angeles Rams. Snead and Turner will be battling for a depth role among the likes of Jauan Jennings and Ray-Ray McCloud behind Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk on Monday night. Meanwhile, Coleman will provide depth to a banged-up Niners backfield with Elijah Mitchell (knee) on Injured Reserve and rookie Tyrion Davis-Price (ankle) out for another week. Jeff Wilson Jr. will remain the team's primary back against the Rams, with rookie Jordan Mason and Marlon Mack behind him.
The Los Angeles Rams elevated running back Malcolm Brown and offensive tackle Chandler Brewer from the practice squad to the active roster for Monday night's contest against the division-rival San Francisco 49ers. The 29-year-oLD Brown won't have much of a role at all on Monday behind Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson Jr. and Jake Funk. Browns spent the first six seasons of his NFL career with the Rams before playing in seven games (three starts) for the Miami Dolphins last year, when he had just 33 carries for 125 yards and one touchdown while adding three catches for 10 yards. Unless LA's backfield is decimated by injuries on Monday night, it's highly unlikely that we'll see Brown on the field.