Each week, this space will take a look at the key players in the news that will have some sort of impact on your fantasy decisions. That impact could be upgrading a passing game, a player missing due to a suspension or injury, or notes about key happenings in practice. Whatever the news, come here each Wednesday to take stock of what happened and what the good word is as the next weekend’s games approach.
As the first kickoffs get ready to happen, here is what you need to know with the players making headlines.
- Plenty going on with running back around the league. Starting in Minnesota, the Vikings will not announce their plans for Adrian Peterson until Sunday. Though Peterson has repeatedly said he expects to be active for the opener, his role would still be unclear. Where he has not taken any contact during the pre-season, this is a risky situation.
- The Jaguars plan to use Maurice Jones-Drew as their third-down back in their first game this weekend. While Jones-Drew reported to camp and ended his holdout, his productivity level is certainly already a question mark. Rashad Jennings will still be the starter this week while the Jaguars work in Jones-Drew.
- Trent Richardson has been practicing this week for the first time in a month. Richardson’s knee injury was not expected to impact his ability to play in the season opener and it looks like he is on track this week. Though nothing has been announced, his ability to practice and be on the field during drills is a good sign.
- While no final decision has been made, Adam Schefter is reporting that the Chargers will be without Ryan Matthews in their Monday Night opener. Matthews suffered a broken collarbone on his first carry of the pre-season and has not played since. Keep an eye out here, but Ronnie Brown would get the carries if Matthews cannot go.
- The Panthers are feeling good about Jonathan Stewart’s availability. Stewart had suffered a sprained right ankle that had kept him out. In a workout Monday, the coaching staff felt he moved around well. Watch his status as we hit the back half of the week. Could mean an upgrade to DeAngelo Williams.
- The Cowboys are likely to be without Jason Witten, who is listed as doubtful. The tight end had an appointment on Tuesday where he was hoping to be cleared to play, but as of this writing that is not the case. Witten is dealing with a lacerated spleen and the safe bet here is to find another option.
- An already suspect pass defense will likely be without a top cornerback this weekend. Joe Haden has reportedly been suspended by the league for four games due to a violation of the substance abuse policy. The Eagles have a strong passing attack and Haden’s absence should be an upgrade to Philadelphia receivers.
- The Steelers will again sit Ryan Clark in Denver due to the health risks imposed by the high altitude. Clark will travel with the team but will not dress for the Pittsburgh secondary in the matchup.
- The Cardinals will enter the season with one of the thinnest offensive lines in the league. Injuries have taken down key players across the line and it looks like John Skelton may be the one to pay the price. With a line not having played together, Skelton will be likely on the move or playing a lot of “dink and dunk” ball.