Wednesday was not a good one for the top two Pittsburgh Steelers’ running backs. Le’Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount and an unidentified woman were pulled over after a motorcycle cop smelled marijuana coming from their vehicle, which Bell was operating. The officer found a 20-gram bag of pot which all of the passengers claimed as his or her own according to the Associated Press. Bell and Blount are facing possession charges while Bell will also be charged with a DUI. All charges are considered misdemeanors in Pennsylvania.
At this point it is hard to foresee what will happen as far as league or team penalties. There is a chance the legal proceedings keep this from being an issue for this season so the likelihood that both play as expected is still good. The team could penalize them, but the NFL will most likely wait until the court system is done with them. Bell did not make the trip to Philadelphia for tonight’s preseason game, while Blount did, but that doesn’t really tell us much at this point. So as far as fantasy goes, this may be more of a dynasty issue, but the story has yet to be completed. But if Bell falls in your draft due to this news he’s worth a pick since he should still play this season.
Brian Hoyer has “won” the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback position and will be behind center against the Steelers Week 1. Rookie Johnny Manziel hasn’t grasped the playbook yet and will need more time behind the veteran Hoyer. He still will have fantasy upside with his scrambling ability if he does get a shot this season, which he most likely will.
Andre Johnson reportedly looked great in Wednesday’s joint practice with the Broncos according to CBS.com's Jason La Canfora. He reported that Johnson “showed no signs of rust” after missing time to a hamstring injury. There’s no doubt that Johnson is still the man in Houston and even last season with Matt Schaub and Case Keenum wreaking havoc on their own offense, Johnson still finished as the 12th best fantasy wide receiver with 109 receptions, 1407 yards and five touchdowns. There’s no reason he won’t have similar numbers this season.
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Colts’ general manager Ryan Grigson says that Trent Richardson "needs to answer the bell" and be "accountable." This is really the first time the Colts have publicly shown disappointment in Richardson, which is hard to believe because he has been extremely disappointing as a Colt. He has yet to show much improvement this preseason from last season and will need the Colts passing offense to really click for him to find room to run with the skill set he’s shown us recently.
Montee Ball continues to do more in practice each day. This progress may let him play in the Broncos’ preseason finale according to Jason LaCanfora, but even if it doesn’t, this news is extremely encouraging. Draft him at will.
Knowshon Moreno says he’s ready to play and has recovered fully from his June knee scope. He has a lot of ground to make up on Lamar Miller, but there is still time and his pass catching and pass protection should keep him in the mix on game days.
Coach Mike Smith said he fully expects Steven Jackson to be ready for Week 1 according to Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter. Jackson has been out all of training camp with a hamstring injury and could possibly see a little work in the preseason finale. His ADP puts him in the 7th round of most drafts, which has some value, but it’s hard to trust his health this year.
Chris Polk revealed he suffered a Grade 2 partial tear of his hamstring on the second day of Eagles camp. He hopes to practice next week, but that still remains to be seen. Eagles beat reporter Geoff Mosher believes “Polk’s roster spot is going to be extremely tough for someone else to steal” even though coach Chip Kelly is frustrated with Polk not being able to practice, saying, “you've got to be able to play. It's tough for us to say, ‘We know what you can do,’ but you've got to go out on the field and show it.” Polk remains the handcuff for LeSean McCoy at the moment, which is an important place to be with that offense, but he’ll need to get back out there soon.
Dolphins’ rookie receiver Jarvis Landry is seeing some work out of the slot with the first team according to Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post. He’s rotating with Brandon Gibson and should overtake him at some point this season. He isn't exactly draftable in your standard leagues, but could be worth it in larger leagues.
ESPN Texans reporter Tania Ganguli was talking up third-round TE C.J. Fiedorowicz on Twitter saying, "That guy can do everything." Garrett Graham is the current #1 tight end, but Coach Bill O’Brien plans on using his tight ends extensively and Fiedorowicz has some breakout potential. He’s worth a dynasty look at least.
Rams waived/injured RB Isaiah Pead (torn ACL). . . . Bengals signed WLB Vontaze Burfict to a new four-year, $20 million contract through 2017. . . . Broncos WR/PR Jordan Norwood tore his ACL in Wednesday's joint practice with the Texans. . . . Browns RE Desmond Bryant underwent wrist surgery and is out indefinitely. . . . Free safety Jairus Byrd (back) went through full-contact drills for the first time as a Saint Tuesday. . . . Bengals.com speculates running back Rex Burkhead may be dealing with an MCL sprain.