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According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the 49ers are not counting on OLB Aldon Smith returning to the team this season.

Smith has two off-field issues to deal with right now. He's in rehab for alcohol abuse, and he's also facing three felony charges for possession for assault weapons. The Niners are more than capable of playing well defensively without him, but not having him in the playoffs against elite offenses is going to sting sharply. Smith has 38 sacks in his first 35 NFL games.
Sun, Oct 13, 2013 10:47:00 AM

Saints second-year WR Brandon Coleman has "consistently looked good" early in camp, and is reportedly "separating himself from the pack."

The "pack" consists of Seantavius Jones, Josh Morgan, Joe Morgan, and others. A mammoth target at 6-foot-6, 225, Coleman has been likened to Marques Colston by coach Sean Payton. Colston is being eased into training camp, so Coleman has handled some first-team reps. We'll be keeping an eye on Coleman and whether he's able to challenge Nick Toon for the No. 3 receiver job.
Aug 1 - 8:55 PM

NFL.com's Lance Zierlein suggests the Texans' quarterback battle "might be over sooner than you think."

A Houston-area media member, Zierlein is convinced Brian Hoyer will be the Week 1 starter. Zierlein later cited Ryan Mallett's lack of accuracy as his likely downfall. Texans fans are oddly obsessed with Mallett getting the nod, but Mallett has been outplayed by Hoyer since the early spring, and was traded away by Bill Belichick for a conditional seventh-round pick last year. We still anticipate both sub-par quarterbacks making 2015 starts.
Aug 1 - 8:20 PM

Steelers acquired CB Brandon Boykin from the Eagles in exchange for a 2016 fifth-round pick.

One of the top slot corners in the league, Boykin is an immediate upgrade to a Pittsburgh secondary that ranked 27th against the pass last year. Boykin was undervalued by Chip Kelly for his lack of size, but still graded as a top-25 corner by PFF over 524 snaps last season. He's essentially a one-year rental for the Steelers. Boykin is owed $1.542 million in the final year of his contract. He turned 25 early last month.
Aug 1 - 8:02 PM

Martavis Bryant will undergo a minor procedure for an elbow infection, and is expected to miss 7-10 days of training camp.

Although this clearly isn't a long-term worry, it is something of a concern for Bryant's re-draft fantasy outlook. He's trying to hold off Markus Wheaton to start in two-receiver sets after playing less than a third of Pittsburgh's offensive snaps as a rookie. Bryant is expected to be held out of the Steelers' preseason opener. We'll monitor Bryant's status closely until he returns.
Aug 1 - 6:57 PM

Jets rookie WR Devin Smith (ribs) is expected to be sidelined 4-6 weeks.

He'll miss all of training camp and the preseason. Smith is dealing with a punctured lung in addition to broken ribs, putting his Week 1 status in serious question. He'll be behind Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, and Jeremy Kerley when he returns, making Smith an unlikely early-season contributor.
Aug 1 - 3:10 PM

The Union-Tribune San Diego's Kevin Acee says rookie RB Melvin Gordon is struggling with pass protection in Chargers camp.

Most rookies struggle in pass pro, but Gordon's issues are compounded by his lack of experience as a receiver. With Danny Woodhead on the roster, there is little reason for the Chargers to put Gordon in passing situations in which he is unlikely to succeed. Gordon will get all of the early-down work for San Diego, but he is unlikely to be heavily involved in the passing game this season.
Aug 1 - 1:10 PM

Sophomore RB James White is working with the first team as the third-down back in Patriots camp.

CSN New England's Tom Curran said it "seems" the Patriots are going to give White the first crack to earn the third-down job vacated by Shane Vereen. Even if White wins the competition, he will likely cede touches to Travaris Cadet, Dion Lewis or Brandon Bolden at times. It is unlikely any of the Patriots' passing-down options earn the almost 10 touches a game Vereen saw the last two seasons.
Aug 1 - 7:31 AM

Cowboys OC Scott Linehan said the team's run-heavy strategy is "not going to change" despite the departure of DeMarco Murray.

Dallas successfully used a high-volume rushing attack to hide its deficiencies on defense and Tony Romo's ailing back last season. Romo is as healthy as he's been in several years, but the defense is still suspect and the Cowboys have one of the best lines in the league. The issue for Linehan is at running back, where he is saddled with unproven talent Joseph Randle and washed-up veteran Darren McFadden. If Randle can prove his flashes last season are sustainable, he could allow the Cowboys to continue their ground-and-pound success and turn into a fantasy monster in the process. If he cannot handle the workload, however, Dallas may have to find a new offensive identity on the fly.
Aug 1 - 6:16 AM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirms the Cowboys' No. 1 running back job is "Joseph Randle's to lose."

Per RapSheet, the Cowboys expect "big things" from Randle, and love his "vision and explosiveness." After struggling mightily as a fifth-round rookie in 2013, Randle indeed showed improved burst as a sophomore, averaging nearly seven yards on 51 carries. Randle remains a high-risk fantasy investment based on his extremely-limited track record. His ADP is creeping toward round three.
Jul 31 - 9:33 PM

Coach Jim Caldwell offered no timetable for Joique Bell's (knee, Achilles') return at Lions camp Friday.

Caldwell did say Bell is "coming along quickly," though that's hard to fathom after Joique missed the entire spring and wasn't available for the start of training camp. "We’re just majorly concerned right now with obviously getting him healthy," Caldwell insisted. "And he’s well on his way to that." Bell turns 29 next month and has undergone three lower-leg surgeries over the past two offseasons. Ameer Abdullah is now running with the ones.
Jul 31 - 2:37 PM

Raiders placed RB Trent Richardson on the active/NFI list.

No explanation has been given yet, but we should get details soon. It seems likely Richardson failed to pass his conditioning test. The San Francisco Chronicle recently passed along "whispers" that the Raiders' flyer on T-Rich is "not going so well." Richardson appears to be squarely on the roster bubble.
Jul 31 - 2:20 PM




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