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

Ryan SuccopSep 1 04:22p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal and released PK Travis Coons Monday, Sept. 1.

Josh ScobeeSep 1 11:43a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (hamstring), DT Sen'Derrick Marks (shoulder), PK Josh Scobee (quadriceps) and OT Zane Beadles (undisclosed) are practicing Monday, Sept. 1.

Larry DonnellSep 1 11:43a

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is the starting tight end on the team's unofficial depth chart. TE Daniel Fells and Adrien Robinson are second- and third-string, respectively.

Quintin DempsSep 1 11:23a

New York Giants SS Quintin Demps is the lead kick returner, while WR Preston Parker is the lead punt returner.

Ben TateSep 1 10:52a

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate is expected to stay on the field on third downs, according to head coach Mike Pettine. This is good news for his PPR [ More ]

Charles BrownSep 1 10:43a

New York Giants OT Charles Brown (shoulder) and OT James Brewer (back) returned to practice Monday, Sept. 1.

Ahmad DixonSep 1 10:22a

The Dallas Cowboys released SS Ahmad Dixon.

Lonnie PryorSep 1 09:52a

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent FB Lonnie Pryor (Buccaneers) and OG D.J. Morrell (Rams) to the practice squad.

Tony HillsSep 1 09:32a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent LB David Hinds (Titans), TE Jacob Maxwell (Lions), CB Lowell Rose (Chargers) and WR Tommy Streeter (Buccaneers) to the practice squad. C Sam Brenner, [ More ]

Emil IgwenaguSep 1 03:53a

In addition to the previously announced signings of TE Michael Egnew and RB George Winn, the Detroit Lions inked OG Rodney Austin, FB Emil Igwenagu, S Nate Ness, WR [ More ]

Chase FordSep 1 03:42a

Nine players were signed to the Minnesota Vikings practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players joining the squad include RB Joe Banyard, WR Kain Colter, DT Isame Faciane, TE [ More ]

D.J. SmithSep 1 03:33a

The Carolina Panthers brought 10 players onto their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players signed were CB Carrington Byndom, LB Adarius Glanton, WR Tavarres King, SS Robert Lester, [ More ]

Trevin WadeSep 1 03:22a

The New Orleans Saints signed six players to their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Signees include WR Brandon Coleman, CB Terrence Frederick, WR Seantavius Jones, OT Tavon Rooks, [ More ]

Champ BaileySep 1 02:52a

Although the New York Jets are in need of cornerbacks, they are unlikely to pursue free-agent CB Champ Bailey, who was cut by the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, [ More ]

Dee MillinerSep 1 01:02a

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls and FS Antonio Allen could start at cornerback Week 1 because of the injury to CB Dee Milliner (ankle).

Jeromey ClarySep 1 12:23a

San Diego Chargers OG Jeromey Clary (shoulder, hip) underwent hip surgery around a week ago, and his status for the 2014 season is uncertain, according to sources. Clary has [ More ]

Ryan SuccopSep 1 12:12a

Free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) is receiving significant interest from the Tennessee Titans and could sign with them as early as Monday, Sept. 1, according to a source.

Kenjon BarnerSep 1 12:02a

Philadelphia Eagles RB Kenjon Barner (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Vincent BrownSep 1 12:02a

San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Brown (calf) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

DeMarcus Van DykeAug 31 11:52p

Kansas City Chiefs CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Jake StoneburnerAug 31 11:32p

Green Bay Packers TE Jake Stoneburner (undisclosed) and OT Aaron Adams (knee) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after they were waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

M.D. JenningsAug 31 11:22p

Chicago Bears FS M.D. Jennings (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Steve VallosAug 31 10:33p

The Tennessee Titans released C Steve Vallos Sunday, Aug. 31.

Damian WilliamsAug 31 10:22p

The Miami Dolphins released WR Damian Williams Sunday, Aug. 31.

Mike ThomasAug 31 10:12p

The Houston Texans released WR Mike Thomas Sunday, Aug. 31.

Duke IhenachoAug 31 09:53p

The Washington Redskins have claimed SS Duke Ihenacho off waivers from the Denver Broncos.

Brandon HarrisAug 31 09:53p

The Tennessee Titans have claimed WR T.J. Graham off waivers from the Buffalo Bills, WR Kris Durham from the Detroit Lions and CB Brandon Harris from the Houston Texans.

Garrett GilkeyAug 31 09:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have claimed OG Garrett Gilkey off waivers from the Cleveland Browns.

MarQueis GrayAug 31 09:32p

The Minnesota Vikings have claimed TE MarQueis Gray off waivers from the Cleveland Browns and OT Michael X. Harris from the San Diego Chargers.

Brandian RossAug 31 09:22p

The Miami Dolphins have claimed CB Brandian Ross off waivers from the Oakland Raiders.

Mickey ShulerAug 31 09:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have claimed TE Mickey Shuler off waivers from the Atlanta Falcons.

Damaris JohnsonAug 31 09:12p

The Houston Texans have claimed OT Jeff Adams off waivers from the Tennessee Titans, WR Damaris Johnson from the Philadelphia Eagles and CB Darryl Morris from the San Francisco 49ers.

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