Training Camp Notes: August 10th
August 11, 2016 | Ian Goldsmith
Stevie Gone for the Season
See you in 2017, Stevie Johnson. He was always going to miss some time after tearing his meniscus, but there had been at least a glimmer of hope that he would come back this season. Sadly, that is not to be. It will be Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman battling for the WR3 spot in San Diego, while veteran James Jones as been brought in to fill a spot on the roster, though it would be shocking for him to get much playing time. The Chargers’ offense loses some stability with Johnson out, but sometimes it takes an injury to a vet like this for young guys to get their chance. Regardless, they should still be fun to watch this season, especially if Melvin Gordon can take a big leap, which I think is very possible. Get well soon, Stevie.
Antonio the Instigator
It’s sometimes hard to remember that get kicked out of practice because, well, who the hell gets kicked out of practice? Antonio Brown, fantasy lord and savior to millions, tested out that situation on Wednesday, almost getting kicked out of a joint practice with the Lions. Yikes. The DWTS also-ran is of course now undraftable. How can you take a guy #1 overall when he’s going to scuffle with a ref in preseason?! All kidding aside, it would be good if he toned it down for all of us fantasy warriors and the Steelers. Not surprisingly, neither AB nor Ben Roethlisberger will be playing in Pittsburgh’s first game on Friday.
Jimmy Graham is Alive and Well and Living in Seattle
He’s also off the PUP list! That’s right, jumping Jimmy is now able to practice with Russell and Co., and hopefully build on what was a disappointing fantasy season last year. Yes, he got injured, but the shift to increased blocking duties with the Hawks made him less dangerous from a fantasy standpoint, something that I was wary about at the beginning of preseason last year. Frankly, the yardage was OK last year (he was on pace for 880 yards, only 9 fewer than the year before), but they didn’t look to Graham in the red zone; he finished with 3 catches on only 10 red zone targets for 1 TD (he was 13/23 for 9TDs the previous season). He did add another 30-yard TD, but those two total TDs were easily the lowest scoring output of his career. If he can up his TDs to at least 5 or 6, then we’re looking at a guy who could fairly easily provide mid to low TE1 output. However, that requires that he stays healthy. You always have to take risks in fantasy drafts. Graham will just be one of those risks this season, rather than the sure thing he was in years past.
Not that it needs to be said, but the Pats will sit Tom Brady in their first preseason game. Fire up your Garoppolos, preseason DFSers.
The Chiefs still haven’t seen Eric Berry in practice, and for good reason. Berry wants a new contract and, frankly, deserves one. I’m never for guys sitting out if they’re under contract, but Berry isn’t; he had the dreaded franchise tag placed on him, and he has not signed that paper. So, he can sit out all he wants without any fines. The Chiefs need to pay the man. He’s an inspiration to his teammates and others, and is one of the best at his position in the NFL.