News and Notes: July 30th
July 30, 2013 | Jeff
Training camps are vital in draft research for a fake football aficionado, and 2013 training camp season has opened up with a bang. Injuries are piling up, young players are emerging, and every single player in the NFL is in the “best shape of his life!” All joking aside, there are truckloads of fantasy nuggets to be had this week and here are a few of the most notable developments:
Jeremy Maclin: The training camp injury bug has begun to rear its hideous head, as Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has a torn ACL. Chip Kelly’s offensive transition from Oregon to the NFL was already shrouded in mystery and this injury only makes the water murkier. DeSean Jackson should still be heavily involved in Kelly’s offensive scheme, but Maclin’s void will most likely be filled by a combination of running backs, tight ends, and receivers already on the Philadelphia roster. Via the Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News, Eagles GM Howie Roseman said, “We’re not only looking at just the wide receiver group; we’re looking at the running backs, we’re looking at the tight ends, and those are the guys we have high hope and expectations for.” Expect tight ends James Casey, Brent Celek, and Zach Ertz to get a chance to expand their receiving role in Philly’s offense, and an opportunity should arise for Riley Cooper to grab some targets as well. Is it just me, or do we discuss Riley Cooper as a last resort at some point in every fantasy football season!?!
Dennis Pitta: In the most gruesome of recent injury news, Baltimore’s tight end Dennis Pitts fractured and dislocated his hip, which will cost him the entire 2013 season. Pitta was in line for a huge season (we are big Pitta fans here at The Fake Football), so this injury is devastating to fantasy footballers and Ravens fans alike. With Anquan Boldin now in a 49ers uniform and little else beyond Torrey Smith in the receiving department, Joe Flacco could have a difficult time living up to the huge/absurd contract he was given over the offseason. Baltimore is now left with Ed Dickson and recently signed Visanthe Shiancoe at tight end. Expect Dickson to take some of Pitta’s targets but this creates an even bigger hole in the Raven air attack after Torrey Smith. Keep an eye on the young receivers in Baltimore’s camp this summer, as some hidden fantasy potential could be lurking once a WR2 is established.
Percy Harvin: The Seahawks’ prized offseason acquisition will receive a second opinion on his bum hip on Tuesday, which will go a long way in determining his 2013 availability and, most importantly for us fine folks, his fantasy value. News of all types has been leaked, from Harvin being ready for week one to missing the entire season to curing his hip ailment with a combination of deer antler spray, Adderall, and Sour Patch Kids. Our current rankings are withholding dropping Harvin until definitive news is released, which should be some time on Tuesday. Harvin’s ADP currently sits in the 2nd round of 12 team drafts and will drop, deservedly, no matter which way the diagnosis goes. If Harvin is indeed out, Sidney Rice and Golden Tate would receive boosts among the Seattle wide receivers.
Arian Foster: The first round of fantasy drafts is an interesting place, as the top running back pecking order shakes out a little different each time after Adrian Peterson goes first overall. One player in the first round mix is garnering attention this summer for the wrong reasons, as Arian Foster is still having calf issues. However, good news has surfaced as Houston Head Coach Gary Kubiak stated that he expects Foster to be back in action by “midweek.” The exact date of his return is far less important than the fact that he is close to returning to full speed, which is great to hear. A lingering calf strain is certainly a bit worrisome for a player commanding such an early fantasy draft pick, but we should trust him while healthy. The Fake Football staff currently ranks him 4th among running backs.