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

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 18 05:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Dec. 18.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Ryan MathewsDec 18 03:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and appears to be on track to start in Week 16, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

DeMarco MurrayDec 18 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who was expected to take some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:12p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) said he is not dealing with any pain in his back but is taking things one day at a time. Newton said he [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 02:02p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) left practice early Thursday, Dec. 18, because he is receiving a scheduled day of rest. Manning was not limping when he was walking to the locker room.

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Chris PolkDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 01:22p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) had an increased set of repetitions in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and it looks like he's on track to play in Week 16 [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 12:52p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Andre JohnsonDec 18 12:52p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (concussion) has cleared the leagues concussion protocol and will play in the team's Week 16 game.

Julio JonesDec 18 12:12p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Case KeenumDec 18 10:03a

Houston Texans QB Case Keenum is expected to start in Week 16.

Philip RiversDec 18 09:22a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is battling a back injury that is more severe than the team has acknowledged, according to a league source. Rivers' back injury [ More ]

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:03a

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy opened practice on the sidelines Wednesday, Dec. 17, while RB Chris Polk opened with first-team reps. After practice McCoy did not seem too concerned. [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanDec 18 01:03a

The Denver Broncos are hopeful RB Ronnie Hillman (foot) will be able to return for the Week 16 game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Dec. 22, or for the [ More ]

Drew StantonDec 17 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton (knee) said this injury is different from any other he's ever had, and he said it's too soon to know if he could return [ More ]

Carlos HydeDec 17 07:03p

San Francisco 49ers RBs Frank Gore (concussion) and Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Jay CutlerDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

Jimmy ClausenDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

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