Volume 19, #121 -- Monday Night, August 21st, 2017
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An important note for fantasy owners here. Bell is holding out but coming in after the third preseason game still gives him a couple of weeks to get up to speed. Fantasy owners worried about his holdout lasting into the regular season should be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Even with Bell missing the preseason, he should still be a top-5 pick (at worst) in fantasy drafts.
Not a surprise as he's been the most consistent quarterback for the Broncos this offseason. Paxton Lynch, a 2016 first-round pick, missed open receivers and just doesn't look ready to be a starter in the NFL at this time.
Denver Broncos QB Trevor Siemian was more consistent in his ball placement and decision making than fellow QB Paxton Lynch, according to head coach Vance Joseph. Those qualities are what won Siemian the starting job.
That's what Siemian is. He's consistent with his decisions and his pass placement has been better this year. In 2016, Siemian had the second-most off-target passes per Pro Football Focus. Joseph also said Siemian would be more aggressive this year based on the Mike McCoy system.
Miami Dolphins QB Jay Cutler made numerous plays in practice Monday, Aug. 21. Beat writer Omar Kelly opined that Cutler provided clear upgrades from QB Ryan Tannehill in arm strength and pocket presence.
The argument could be made that Cutler will be better for the Dolphins skill position players because of his willingness to challenge a defense. We're not upgrading the players astronomically, but it just makes sense that Cutler is a little more willing to take chances and that could pay off with a few more big plays from this offense that sometimes looked stale with Tannehill calling the shots.
Patrick Mahomes was drafted in the first round to be the quarterback of the future. The quarterback of the present is Smith, and any sort of switch to Mahomes in 2017 would have to come along with the team struggling. Smith should get this year as the starter, but know the team loves Mahomes and would put him in if the team isn't winning or Smith is struggling.
Prescott will need to lean on Bryant more than ever while RB Ezekiel Elliott is suspended. Projecting Bryant for 70 or more catches with over 1,000 yards receiving and double-digit touchdowns in 2017 is fair.
Earlier in the month, Moncrief sprained the AC joint in his left shoulder. The team doesn't want him to aggravate the injury, so they're making sure he's protected with the red jersey. If he's healthy, and if QB Andrew Luck is healthy, Moncrief has breakout potential for fantasy owners in 2017.
Winston loves throwing to the TE position as evident by his college career at FSU and his targets for Cameron Brate in 2016. Howard is big, fast and physical on the field. He is going to split time this year with Brate in the new-look Bucs passing attack, and that limits the rookie's fantasy value. Plus, it usually takes time for TEs to transition to the NFL game.
It wasn't that long ago (last year to be precise) that Sharpe was an intriguing rookie for the Titans. This year things are much different. Sharpe is buried on the depth chart, he's been banged up with this foot injury and his spot on the 53-man roster is no guarantee.
Drake is a speedy runner in a straight line and he can gash a defense with a proper lane. He's not a handcuff for fantasy owners who select Jay Ajayi in 2017. If something happens to Ajayi, the Dolphins go to a RBBC with guys like Drake and Damien Williams splitting time.
A third-round pick out of Rutgers last year, Carroo has an intriguing skill set. He's a dynasty prospect to hold, but Carroo is buried on the depth chart in 2017 for the Dolphins. He's competing for the no4 spot behind Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills.
The Chargers have made some changes up front to the offensive line...ones they hope are upgrades over last year. If Gordon plays a full 16-game season, expect him to go over 1,000 yards rushing with near double-digit touchdowns as a centerpiece of that offense. He was a top-10 fantasy RB last year and is going off the board at RB5 (1.10) in 12-team PPR leagues this year.
If you're in a super deep league, add Kamara as a Week 16 or Week 17 'lottery ticket' back. Yes, he's third on the depth chart behind Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram but Kamara could get a longer look at the end of the year...especially if the Saints are out of playoff contention. We love his all-purpose skill set and know that he was a touchdown hog in college at Tennessee. Kamara is a dynasty player we covet...and we'll just have to wait and see if he gets an opportunity to do anything in 2017.
Denver Broncos OT Garett Bolles committed four penalties, including three holding penalties, against the San Francisco 49ers Saturday, Aug. 19, and Bolles said he will watch film and learn from his mistakes.
Bolles just needs to learn how to hold. There's holding on every play in the NFL, but Bolles went over the top with three holding penalties (and a personal foul penalty) on Saturday night against the 49ers. The rookie first-round pick will be the blind-side protector for the Broncos in 2017.
Atlanta Falcons RB Terron Ward had nine carries for 37 yards and a touchdown in a 17-13 preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Aug. 20, and RB Brian Hill had seven carries for 14 yards. Ward and Hill are competing for the third running back spot.
Ward is a tough, no-nonsense runner with some experience over the rookie Hill. It's an interesting situation for dynasty owners to watch given the fact that Tevin Coleman is set to be a free agent in 2019.
Conner's performance wasn't as good as his numbers, but at least he held up under a heavy workload. The Steelers could employ an RBBC if Le'Veon Bell goes down unless Conner distinguishes himself in the remainder of the preseason.