2014 DRAFT GUIDE
AFC North

2012-07-10 11:36:35
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
RealTime Fantasy Sports

Mendenhall eyes return

Steelers

The Steelers have a new offense to install before the season, so watching how that plays out will be the story of their training camp. Todd Haley usually brings a pretty good balance to his offense but early reports are it could be a little more pass-heavy for the Steelers. This is something fantasy teams should keep an eye on before the start of the season. The offense gets to work starting July 27 at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Penn.

Position battle: This really isn't a position battle with Isaac Redman fully expected to start while Rashard Mendenhall gets healthy, but Jonathan Dwyer is a player to watch in camp. He is in much better shape and making a push for more playing time. Dwyer could challenge Redman for some carries and might be worth some fantasy consideration late in drafts if he impresses during camp and preseason action.

Injury watch: Rashard Mendenhall is another player that suffered an ACL injury late in the season. He is likely to begin the season on the sidelines but should be ready after a few weeks. Isaac Redman will open the season as the starter and could grab hold of the job for good with a solid showing. Mendenhall is a question mark for the coming season.

Browns

Cleveland continues to be a franchise in flux. The Browns are in rebuild mode but hope to be close to finally turning the corner. The big key for a turnaround will be the quarterback spot. And the Browns hope they found a dependable No. 1 in Brandon Weeden. He likely is the story of camp, tracking his progress as the likely starter. Weeden and the rest of the team get things started July 28 at the Browns Training Facility in Berea, Ohio.

Position battle: The Browns took Brandon Weeden in the first round, hoping to have found their starting quarterback for the next several seasons. Weeden isn't your typical rookie, coming into the league at age 28. He has a little more experience than a normal rookie. Colt McCoy has started the last few years but did little to distinguish himself in that role. He will battle Weeden to start but all signs point towards the rookie winning the job.

Injury watch: Defensive tackle Phil Taylor tore a pectoral muscle during offseason workouts and could miss much of the season. Right now, it looks like it will be December before Taylor can return. This is a big loss for the Browns as Taylor does a good job clogging the middle. He is a big help in run support. He'll be missed while he is on the sidelines.

Ravens

The Ravens continue to be on the verge of great things but can't seem to get over the hump in the playoffs. Quarterback Joe Flacco is under much of the scrutiny for the Ravens, so he is a player to watch during training camp. Baltimore fans will keep a close watch on Flacco. The defense also is aging some, so that is another storyline to watch to see if they can continue to play at a high level. Baltimore reports to camp July 26 at the Ravens Training Facility in Owings Mills, Md.

Position battle: The top backup running back spot is one to watch in Baltimore this training camp. Bernard Pierce and Anthony Allen are the top two candidates for the job with Pierce the favorite. But nothing is written in stone right now, so this competition is open for the Ravens. And if you draft Ray Rice, you'll want the No. 2 back in Baltimore later in your draft as insurance.

Injury watch: Linebacker Terrell Suggs suffered an Achilles' injury during the offseason. He claims he'll return at some point during the season but the chances of that seem slim. Suggs is a long shot to play this year. And if he does, it will be after the halfway point of the season. He is a huge loss for the Ravens' defense.

Bengals

Cincinnati was a surprise team last season but that won't be the case this year. They have a lot of young talent and should be in contention for a playoff spot once again this year. It will be interesting to see how much more Andy Dalton progresses at quarterback after having a big rookie season. He'll be the most watched player in camp for the Bengals. Dalton and the rest of his teammates get started July 27 at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky.

Position battle: A.J. Green is the legit No. 1 for the Bengals at receiver but after him, it is far from set for the Bengals. Right now, it looks like rookie Mohamed Sanu might be the favorite to start opposite of Green. But Jordan Shipley, Brandon Tate and Armon Binns should be in the mix to start as well. Shipley is the best fit for the slot but if the others don't show much in camp and preseason, don't discount Shipley to start.

Injury watch: Cornerback Leon Hall is recovering from surgery on his Achilles. He has a chance to be near full strength for the start of camp, which is good news for the Bengals. Hall isn't a starting corner but gives the Bengals great depth at the position. He is a capable starter serving as a backup for the Bengals.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Jeff Paur at jeff@rtsports.com

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

David WilsonJul 31 12:01p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) 'needs a miracle' from his surgeon's evaluation to be able to continue his playing career, according to a source.

David WilsonJul 31 11:52a

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) attended team meetings Thursday, July 31, and appeared ready to go, according to RB Rashad Jennings.

Brent UrbanJul 31 11:42a

Baltimore Ravens DE Brent Urban (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during practice Wednesday, July 30, and will miss the entire 2014 season.

Lance LouisJul 31 11:32a

Indianapolis Colts OG Jack Mewhort appears to be the leading candidate for the starting left guard job. OG Lance Louis is also considered a candidate for the job.

Donald ThomasJul 31 11:22a

Indianapolis Colts OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps) is scheduled to undergo season-ending quadriceps surgery and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

Nick BarnettJul 31 11:12a

Free-agent LB Nick Barnett (Redskins) is still an option for the Atlanta Falcons depending on what happens with the team's linebackers. The Falcons worked out Barnett in June but did not sign him.

Josh GordonJul 31 10:42a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is not practicing Thursday, July 31, and presumably will miss practice Friday, Aug. 1, to attend his suspension appeal hearing.

Eric BerryJul 31 10:32a

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (leg, foot) was carted off at practice Thursday, July 31, with a right leg or foot injury. SS Jerron McMillian has taken his place.

Jordan TodmanJul 31 09:52a

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart is expected to be spelled by RBs Jordan Todman, Denard Robinson and Storm Johnson so he doesn't reach the 300-carry plateau.

Morgan BurnettJul 31 09:42a

Green Bay Packers FS Morgan Burnett (ankle) and SS Tanner Miller (undisclosed) are not practicing Thursday, July 31.

Micah HydeJul 31 09:42a

Green Bay Packers FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is working with the first-team defense at strong safety beside FS Micah Hyde Thursday, July 31.

Lardarius WebbJul 31 09:23a

Baltimore Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (back), DE Brent Urban (knee), DT Timmy Jernigan (back), OG Will Rackley (concussion) and WR Jeremy Butler (undisclosed) are out of practice Thursday, July [ More ]

Terrell SuggsJul 31 09:03a

Baltimore Ravens LB Terrell Suggs, DT Haloti Ngata and LB Daryl Smith are not practicing Thursday, July 31.

Nate GarnerJul 31 08:53a

Miami Dolphins C Nate Garner is working with the first-team offense again Thursday, July 31, over C Shelley Smith.

A.J. HawkJul 31 01:53a

Green Bay Packers LB Brad Jones has been working ahead of LB A.J. Hawk as the lone linebacker in the dime defense in practice.

Matt CasselJul 31 01:53a

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater saw reps with the first-team offense in practice Wednesday, July 30. According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, QB Matt Cassel appears to lead the [ More ]

Christian PonderJul 31 01:53a

Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder's reps were cut during practice Wednesday, July 30.

Josh GordonJul 30 11:43p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage III of the NFL's substance-abuse program, and a positive test automatically triggers a one-year suspension. For Gordon, only two options exist: [ More ]

Rod StreaterJul 30 11:43p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (concussion) participated in warmups and drills Wednesday, July 30, but he sat out team sessions. Streater suffered a concussion Monday, July 28, and has [ More ]

Joique BellJul 30 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (knee) missed organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp while recovering from a knee injury, but he looked good cutting and accelerating with ease during [ More ]

Rob SimsJul 30 10:23p

Detroit Lions OG Rob Sims (knee) missed organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp while recovering from a knee injury, but he held his own working against DT Nick Fairley [ More ]

Allen RobinsonJul 30 10:13p

Updating a previous report, Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (and fellow rookie WR Marqise Lee) have seen plenty of opportunity at training camp with WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and [ More ]

Marqise LeeJul 30 10:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (and fellow rookie WR Allen Robinson) have seen more reps in training camp with WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and WR Ace Sanders (personal) sidelined. [ More ]

Carl NicksJul 30 08:03p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially released OG Carl Nicks (toe) Wednesday, July 30, with an injury settlement.

David WilsonJul 30 06:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) tweeted that he is fine after leaving practice early Tuesday, July 29. Wilson said he passed all physical examinations and will find out more Monday, Aug. 3.

Jim LeonhardJul 30 05:53p

The Cleveland Browns signed SS Jim Leonhard (Bills) Wednesday, July 30. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Aldon SmithJul 30 04:43p

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith is not participating in practice Wednesday, July 30, as he attends a hearing at the Los Angeles City Attorney's office regarding an April [ More ]

Fred JacksonJul 30 04:13p

The Buffalo Bills have signed RB Fred Jackson to a one-year contract extension. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jason GarrettJul 30 03:23p

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence (foot) will undergo surgery for a broken foot Thursday, July 31, according to head coach Jason Garrett.

LaMichael JamesJul 30 03:03p

San Francisco 49ers RB LaMichael James (elbow) will wear a brace on his dislocated elbow and should be ready for the start of the regular season, according to head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Brent UrbanJul 30 02:23p

Baltimore Ravens DE Brent Urban (leg) and DT Timmy Jernigan (back) appear to have suffered injuries during practice Wednesday, July 30. Urban was helped off the field after suffering the injury.

Tyron SmithJul 30 02:03p

Dallas Cowboys OT Tyron Smith has agreed to terms with the team on an eight-year contract extension worth $98 million, according to a source.

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