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NFL Playoffs League - FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Man charged in shooting of Giants' draft pick and teammate

Sat Jul 13 11:48am ET

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Authorities have charged an 18-year-old man in an April shooting that wounded New York Giants draft pick Corey Ballentine and killed one of his Washburn University teammates.

The Shawnee County district attorney's office says in a news release that Francisco Alejandro Mendez was charged Friday with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and five counts of aggravated battery in the April 28 attack.

Authorities say Ballentine and teammate Dwane Simmons were outside of an off-campus party in Topeka hours after the Giants picked Ballentine in the sixth round of the draft when someone opened fire on them from a vehicle. Simmons was killed and Ballentine was shot but has since recovered.

Mendez is being held on a $1 million bond. His case doesn't appear yet in online court records and his attorney, Victoria Chundak-Gallaway, didn't immediately reply to a phone message left Saturday at her office.

Player Notes
Cam Newton Aug 24 3:50pm ET

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (foot) got treatment for his mid-foot sprain on Saturday, but head coach Ron Rivera thinks Newton will be on the field "pretty soon." The Panthers are hopeful that Newton will be ready for Week 1 against the Rams, where Newton would be a QB1 option. Rivera added that he's "cautiously optimistic" that Newton will be practicing soon. "There really isn't any timetable, but we're going to do everything we can to make sure it's right and ready to roll,'' Rivera said. Kyle Allen, Will Grier and Taylor Heinicke are all splitting backup repetitions behind Newton, so it's anyone's guess who would start the regular season opener if Newton isn't ready. Allen has seen the first reps behind Newton most of the last two weeks but hasn't looked good. Newton's fantasy stock was already on the decline due to questions about his surgically-repaired right shoulder, so most owners probably aren't taking him as a QB1 now.

From RotoBaller

David Johnson Aug 24 3:50pm ET

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson had nine carries for 34 yards and also caught both of his targets for seven yards in the passing game in Saturday's preseason game against the Vikings. Johnson should be able to bounce back in head coach Kliff Kingsbury's offense with rookie quarterback Kyler Murray leading the charge. The 27-year-old back is one of the more versatile runners in the game and is a top-five fantasy running back in 2019. The only question is whether Arizona's offensive line can improve enough to give him space to run.

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Matt Prater Aug 24 3:40pm ET

Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater went 2-for-2, including a 61-yard field goal, in the Lions 24-20 loss in Week 3 of the preseason against the Bills. The veteran kicker has been a consistent top-10 fantasy kicker throughout his career and shows no signs of slowing down. His ability to hit from 61 yards is an excellent sign, making him worth a draft pick in nearly all fantasy formats.

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Robert Griffin III Aug 24 3:30pm ET

Baltimore Ravens backup quarterback Robert Griffin III (thumb) is on scheduled to be ready for Week 1, according to head coach John Harbaugh. Griffin injured his right thumb early in training camp and hasn't played in any preseason games. As long as Lamar Jackson stays healthy, which is a big if considering his propensity to scramble, RG3 will be holding the clipboard on game day. He'll only have fantasy intrigue in two-QB leagues if Jackson goes down with an injury.

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Ed Dickson Aug 24 3:20pm ET

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said that tight end Ed Dickson (knee) is "still aways away" from returning. The 32-year-old veteran won't be ready for Week 1 and wouldn't even be a fantasy target if he was. When healthy, Dickson will compete for playing time with Will Dissly and Nick Vannett. Dickson had only 12 receptions for 143 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games played in his first year with Seattle in 2018. He's gone over 500 yards receiving just once in his career, and that was back in 2011 with Baltimore.

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Marvin Jones Aug 24 3:20pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones (undisclosed) was able to play every snap with the first-string offense in the Lions third preseason matchup against the Bills. Jones was able to catch one ball on three targets for seven yards. This is a good sign, considering he was held out of last week's preseason matchup with what seemingly was the same injury. Jones should be in store for a productive season if he can remain healthy and is a WR2/3 option in nearly all formats.

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Dexter Williams Aug 24 3:20pm ET

Green Bay Packers running back Tra Carson is ahead of rookie Dexter Williams on the depth chart because of his work in pass protection, according to head coach Matt LaFleur. Williams will have a chance to climb the depth chart as the season wears on, but to begin he's behind Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and Carson. He's strictly one to stash in dynasty/keeper leagues for now.

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Bruce Arians Aug 24 2:30pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston was scrambling for his life most of the night in the preseason game against the Browns on Friday, but he managed to continue building chemistry with wide receiver Chris Godwin, hooking up with him four times for 52 yards. Winston finished 9-for-19 for 88 yards and a 60.9 passer rating. He scrambled well and didn't make bad decisions or risky throws, which is what he needs to cut out of his game in a contract year. Winston has all the things in place to have his best season to date in head coach Bruce Arians' offense, making him a low-end QB1/high-end backup for fantasy owners. Godwin should see heavy targets as well, making him a popular breakout candidate in 2019.

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Blaine Gabbert Aug 24 2:10pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Blaine Gabbert (shoulder) suffered a dislocated left shoulder in the preseason game on Friday night against the Browns, according to head coach Bruce Arians. It's unknown if Gabbert will need surgery. The quarterback was 4-for-5 for 33 yards before leaving the game. Ryan Griffin stepped in for Gabbert and will likely be Jameis Winston's backup as we head into the regular season. Rookie quarterback Nick Fitzgerald is still recovering from a hamstring injury.

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Jarrad Davis Aug 24 2:10pm ET

Detroit Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis (ankle) suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter of Friday's preseason game against the Bills. He was carried off the field by trainers and carted to the locker room. He'll undergo an MRI exam on Saturday. Center Frank Ragnow (leg) was also taken to the locker room in the second quarter after suffering a right leg injury. Davis, 24, would be a big loss for Detroit's interior defense, as he's had over 90 tackles each of his first two seasons, including six sacks in 16 games in 2018. Ragnow's injury could make life more difficult for the Lions offensive line heading into the regular season.

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Derek Carr Aug 24 2:00pm ET

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is possibly in the best situation of his career heading into the 2019 regular season. With an improved offensive line, a brand new pass-catching corps which includes Antonio Brown, and a first-round rookie running back to hand the ball off to, Carr has the recipe to break out this season. The 28-year-old is also making strides in his second year under head coach Jon Gruden and his system. He's looked much more comfortable in year two, and has shown more assertiveness in his throws with the playmakers around him who can help aid his fantasy ceiling. Carr is a solid late-round QB2 to target in two-quarterback leagues and may find value in certain matchups in single-quarterback leagues throughout the season.

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Jack Doyle Aug 24 1:50pm ET

Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle (hip) spent the offseason recovering from a hip injury that cut his 2018 season short. He's played with the starters sparingly thus far, as he's registered just 13 snaps, and those may be the last preseason snaps that we see of him. He has looked good when he was out there, and his focus is now on maintaining his health for the regular season. Currently going in the 13th round, Doyle remains a sneaky option as a backup tight end to give you good production throughout the year.

From RotoBaller

Hunter Renfrow Aug 24 1:40pm ET

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow is poised for an impactful rookie season with the Silver and Black in 2019. As the starting slot receiver, Renfrow will provide another set of reliable hands for short yardage passes while the defense focuses their attention primarily on Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams. The Clemson product was renowned for his catching prowess at the college level and has carried it over to the NFL so far through his first preseason. Quarterback Derek Carr and head coach Jon Gruden have both praised Renfrow for his sneaky ability to get open and haul in anything thrown his way. Until we see how significant his role will actually be in this offense he remains a dynasty stash, but could find value in PPR redraft leagues as the season progresses.

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Frank Reich Aug 24 1:40pm ET

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is likely out until the start of the season. Head coach Frank Reich stated that it would be unlikely to see any starters during the team's Week 3 matchup against the Chicago Bears. Hilton has not played any snaps during the team's first two preseason games, and he doesn't appear slated to play any this week. The strategy of keeping your best player's healthy when you can is usually the right decision. As he's not battling any injuries, this isn't an issue to be worried about as he will play when the games count.

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Jacoby Brissett Aug 24 1:20pm ET

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett is slated to start during the regular season if quarterback Andrew Luck (ankle) is unable to go. With that in mind, head coach Frank Reich stated that Brissett would not be playing during the team's Week 3 preseason matchup vs the Chicago Bears. Brissett is the team's starter until Luck is able to return, and they want to keep him healthy as much as they can.

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Deon Yelder Aug 24 12:40pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Deon Yelder (ankle) is likely going to be sidelined for the rest of the preseason. He suffered an ankle injury, so the Chiefs are likely going to be cautious here. He was expected to be the No. 2 tight end behind Travis Kelce, but his status for Week 1 is up in the air. Yelder had four receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown in two preseason games. Blake Bell is going to be the second tight end in Kansas City with Yelder sidelined. Both players are having solid camps, so it's tough to pick between them. Neither will have great fantasy value behind Kelce.

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Josh Jacobs Aug 24 10:10am ET

Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs hasn't stolen many headlines this preseason, but he's proving he belongs on an NFL field. The first-round rookie had a flashy showing on one Week 2 drive, showing great vision and explosion through the line as he picked up 21 yards on four carries. The Raiders drafted Jacobs in hopes of him becoming an every-down back, and he's shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield with prowess as well as a good blocking ability during camp. How his role will play out during the season remains to be seen as Jalen Richard and his 68 catches from a year ago are still on the squad to take on the third down role. Jacobs may gradually work his way into the passing game more as the season progresses, but as of now, he remains a correctly priced RB2 in fantasy drafts.

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Darren Waller Aug 24 10:00am ET

Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller hasn't stopped receiving praise from the coaching staff since OTA's in June as he continues to impress in the preseason. The rest of the football world also took notice in the latest episode of "Hard Knocks" which highlighted some of the 27-year-olds grabs as well as a surge of compliments from players and staff. As a former receiver in college, Waller has the potential to shine as a pass-catcher this season, filling in the void left by Jared Cook this offseason. The 6'6" 255 pounder won't see the immense volume left behind by Cook, but could turn into a valuable weapon as one of the team's top red zone threats and a reliable set of hands to throw to on third down. Waller's stock is only going up, but his stock remains in the late-rounds of drafts as a flier at fantasy's thinnest position.

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Tyrell Williams Aug 24 9:40am ET

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tyrell Williams is flying under the radar not only on fantasy draft boards, but on his own team. Among the new players on the offense this season, Williams hasn't received as much praise from the coaching staff as other route-runners (i.e. Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller), which is excellent news for his draft-day cost. The 27-year-old has still shown his knack for making big plays during training camp and made a spectacular catch in his only glimpse of action in preseason Week 2. Lining up on the opposite side of the field as Antonio Brown will also pay dividends with the defensive attention focused on number 84. Williams has averaged over 813 yards and five touchdowns per year over the last three season with the Chargers and could eclipse these marks in 2019 being the bona fide number two option in the passing game. He could become a steal at his current price tag in the early double-digit rounds.

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Cole Beasley Aug 24 8:10am ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley had a game to forget on Friday. He only had one catch in the game, a 14-yard reception that resulted in a lost fumble. He was targeted just one other time in the game. Beasley figures to get a good amount of targets this season from quarterback Josh Allen as the two have reportedly developed a strong connection this offseason. However, the Bills' offense is still very much a work in progress. In PPR leagues, he's a fine late-round target, but in non-PPR formats, he can be left undrafted.

From RotoBaller