Tue Aug 9 1:45pm ET
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer
New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton waits to take the field before an NFL preseason football game against the New York Giants, Aug. 14, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. Becton will more than likely miss the entire season because of another injury to his surgically repaired right knee, coach Robert Saleh announced Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. Becton was having a second evaluation after suffering a chip fracture to his kneecap, Saleh confirmed, during the second play of 11-on-11 team drills Monday. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) New York Jets right tackle Mekhi Becton will ''more than likely'' miss the entire season because of another injury to his surgically repaired right knee, coach Robert Saleh announced Tuesday.
Becton was having a second evaluation after suffering a chip fracture to his kneecap, Saleh confirmed, during the second play of 11-on-11 team drills Monday. The initial prognosis was optimistic, but an MRI later in the day revealed more damage to the knee than first expected.
''It's probably the inevitable,'' Saleh said of the severity of the injury. ''I'm just sick for Mekhi.''
When asked to clarify if Becton's season appears over, Saleh said: ''Yeah, it's more than likely.''
The 6-foot-7 Becton, entering his third NFL season, injured the same knee last year in the opening game at Carolina and missed the rest of the season. The latest injury is new and not related to the one last year when he suffered a dislocated right kneecap and cartilage damage.
''Everything happens for a reason,'' Becton wrote on his Instagram page. ''I know God and my Grandma got me up there I JUST KNOW IT! TRUST!(hash)IMSTILLHIM.''
Becton was run-blocking at right tackle Monday when he went down on the grass and immediately grabbed at his knee. The 2020 first-round draft pick was down a few moments before trying to get up, but needed assistance from trainers to walk off the field.
He took off his pads and eventually walked very gingerly on his own to the locker room with a noticeable limp.
''It just sucks, man,'' quarterback Zach Wilson said.
It's another major setback for Becton, who was adjusting to moving to right tackle this season after previously playing on the left side.
San Francisco 49ers rookie running back Tyrion Davis-Price is listed as the team's No. 4 RB on the first unofficial depth chart of training camp. Second-year back Elijah Mitchell is the starter, with Jeff Wilson Jr. and Trey Sermon directly behind him. Fantasy managers shouldn't read too much into these unofficial depth charts, but it's another reminder that the Niners backfield is very crowded. Davis-Price has looked impressive in training camp and could be involved early in his rookie season, but it's unrealistic to expect him to have a big role given all the other bodies in this backfield. The 21-year-old will be much more attractive in dynasty/keeper setups, and he might be worth a late-round dart throw in deeper leagues.
Only twice last year in his rookie season did Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore have more than six targets in a game, and those two games ended up being his best. He caught seven passes for 114 yards and a touchdown over the Vikings and had 11 receptions for 51 yards in late November in a win over the Seahawks. But other than that, he was mostly used in gadget situations. Moore is expected to have a bigger role in 2022, especially with DeAndre Hopkins suspended for the first six games. The 22-year-old second-year wideout is a popular pick to break out for this offense. The Cardinals anticipate using Moore all over the field, even out of the backfield. In an offense that likes to throw the ball around often, Moore is absolutely worth a late-round pick in fantasy drafts for his upside.
Washington Commanders wide receiver Curtis Samuel has been practicing with the team at training camp, and his presence outside, in the slot or out of the backfield can create mismatches for the opposing defense. However, the fact that he's being nursed through camp without tackling puts doubt into how he'll get through a full 17-game season. Dyami Brown (leg) missed most of the second week of camp with an apparent leg injury and hasn't shined when he's been on the field. Brown has size and should have a roster spot, but his role appears limited for now, barring an extended absence from Samuel. With rookie Jahan Dotson standing out all offseason and summer, it's hard to envision Samuel being a consistent fantasy producer to begin the 2022 season.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (foot) is being listed as day-to-day with a sprained right foot, according to head coach Dennis Allen. Allen initially said that Winston rolled his ankle in training camp practice on Monday, but it was later clarified that he suffered a minor foot injury. Winston, who is also recovering from a torn ACL suffered last year, will not play in Saturday's preseason opener against the Houston Texans out of caution. Expect to see Andy Dalton and Ian Book taking most of the snaps this weekend. The 28-year-old Winston isn't 100% recovered from his knee injury, but he's fully expected to be ready for Week 1 of the regular season. Fantasy managers should consider him a QB2 with upside in the right matchups.
Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz's inaccuracy concerns have followed him to Washington with an assortment pack of misfires in training camp. Wentz has routinely bricked passes in various directions in practices with no defense on the field. It hasn't been an every-play issue for Wentz, and his strong arm opens up more downfield plays in the team's playbook, but his accuracy issues are a real concern. He's still learning offensive coordinator Scott Turner's system and what to expect from his receivers, so perhaps Wentz will gain more consistency as training camp and the preseason progress. For what it's worth, head coach Ron Rivera said the team isn't "overly concerned" about Wentz, but fantasy managers may be avoiding him as a QB2 in fantasy drafts. Wentz will play in the team's preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers.
Washington Commanders rookie wide receiver Jahan Dotson has been one of the cleanest performers in training camp, and not just among the rookies. He's been working with the first-team offense and is racking up repetitions when Curtis Samuel has missed sessions. The hype over the 5-foot-11 receiver's catch radius and reliable hands remains intact. However, it's possible that the media hype overstates Dotson's first-year production, since he's still yet to play in an NFL game. The 22-year-old will be a hot commodity in dynasty/keeper leagues, but those in single-year leagues should temper expectations, especially with quarterback Carson Wentz not really impressing leading up to his first season in D.C.
Washington Commanders rookie fifth-round tight end Cole Turner has been a fluid pass-catcher and a striking 6-foot-6 target during training camp this summer. He is the team's top receiving tight end until Logan Thomas (knee) returns from the Physically Unable to Perform list, and he's the TE1 overall with John Bates (calf) out of action. However, Turner suffered a hamstring injury last Friday and sat out of practice on Saturday. His blocking is a work in progress, and it remains to be seen if his lanky frame holds up over the course of a season. While Turner isn't on the fantasy radar at this time, he's shown the desired pass-catching skills for a tight end-friendly quarterback in Carson Wentz.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' use of the hallucinogenic drink ayahuasca during an offseason retreat isn't considered a violation of the league's drug policy. Rodgers said he went on an ayahuasca retreat to Peru in 2020 before the third of his four MVP seasons. It's defined as a psychoactive beverage native to South America and is often used for religious, ritualistic or medicinal purposes. Rodgers said the retreat gave him "a deep and meaningful appreciation for life" and added that "I came back and knew I was never going to be the same." The 38-year-old finished as the QB8 in fantasy last year and will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when all is said and done. However, with All-Pro receiver Davante Adams now with the Raiders, Rodgers ceiling and floor will be lower in 2022.
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor won't put a timetable on quarterback Joe Burrow's (appendix) return to training camp practices after undergoing an appendectomy in late July. "He's starting to get better every single day," Taylor said. "Again, I don't want to put a timeline on when he gets out here and starts throwing and stuff, but it's been encouraging. He's back to himself in meetings so looking good." Taylor remains optimistic that Burrow isn't in danger of missing the Week 1 opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 25-year-old returned from a left knee injury in his rookie year to lead the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1988, throwing for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns in the regular season. He'll be a strong QB1 target in fantasy drafts despite his appendix issue.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold struggled last season, prompting the team to acquire veteran Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns. This led to speculation that the team might be interested in trading Darnold, especially if they believe Mayfield is their future. While it's hard to predict what kind of return they would get, they would certainly get something, as opposed to letting him leave in free agency next offseason. However, this now seems less likely after general manager Scott Fitterer told Darnold "not to worry" about the trade rumors after practice on Monday. There is always a chance another team inquires about him, either later in the offseason or during the regular season, but for now, Darnold will remain a Panther. The starting QB job is Mayfield's to lose, so Darnold is off the fantasy radar as things currently stand.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (foot, knee) injured his foot in practice on Monday. It was not believed to be serious at the time and was confirmed to be of little concern later that evening. In a post on Tuesday morning, the injury was described as "not serious," but it will keep Winston from participating in the Saints Week 1 preseason game against the Texans on Saturday. This will allow Andy Dalton and Ian Book to get more repetitions, neither of which are a threat to be the starter as long as Winston is healthy.
Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith has been an integral part of the team's defense since he was drafted eighth overall in 2018. The Bears have traded away some big names from their once fierce defense, including Khalil Mack, and it appears Smith could be next. Smith released a statement officially requesting a trade, reporting the new management regime "won't negotiate in good faith" and "doesn't value me here." Smith is one of the few remaining superstars on this team, so losing him would big a big blow.
The New York Giants drafted wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson 43rd overall in this year's draft, which was a strange pick at the time, considering the plethora of receiving options they had. It was initially speculated that Robinson would replace Kadarius Toney, who was rumored to be traded. However, this never materialized, leaving both to compete for a role as a starter. Robinson was taking first-team repetitions and is currently being listed as a starter on the Giants unofficial depth chart. The uncertainty of quarterback Daniel Jones and the murkiness of this receiving core as a whole make it difficult to trust Robinson. That being said, if he emerges as the lead receiver, he would have more upside and be well worth a late-round pick in fantasy drafts.
Miami Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin is seeing his opportunity in the offense quickly fading. Gaskin was very involved last year, with 173 carries for 612 yards and three touchdowns, but the team added Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert, and Sony Michel this offseason. Further adding to this concern, is the news that Gaskin is listed behind all three of those backs on the depth chart. Gaskin is not a player to draft for fantasy and would need multiple injuries to become relevant.
Indianapolis Colts All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard (back), who previously went by Darius Leonard, watched training camp practice on Monday in street clothes as he recovers from June back surgery. There is no set timetable for his return, but the Colts expect him back at "some point" this year, according to a source. The Colts won't rush Leonard back onto the field, so it appears increasingly likely that he won't be ready to go in time for Week 1. The 27-year-old is typically one of the first linebackers off the board in IDP fantasy leagues, but that won't be the case this year. The three-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro had 122 tackles (75 solo), four tackles for loss, three QB hits, four interceptions, eight passes defensed, a league-high eight forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 16 games in 2021. His absence to start the year will be a big loss for the Colts defense/special teams.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (foot) left training camp practice on Monday after injuring his foot, but one source said "he's doing well and feels fine. So nothing to really worry about." It was initially reported that Winston rolled his ankle, but it turned out to be a foot injury. The 28-year-old is also recovering from a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee suffered last year and isn't quite back to 100 percent, although he's fully expected to be ready for Week 1 of the regular season. While he's likely to sit out of practice for a few days, Winston appears to have dodged a bullet with his foot injury. Expect veteran backup Andy Dalton to work with the first-team offense in camp until Winston is back on the field. He'll be a low-end QB2 in fantasy this year, although he could have streaming upside in the right matchups later in the year.
Dynasty | The Rams activated rookie Kyren Williams from the PUP list Dynasty Analysis: Recovering from a broken foot suffered early in minicamp, Williams fell during the 2022 NFL Draft after posting dismal speed scores though his tape shows a capable player. The Rams stopped his fall in the fifth-round, selecting the back as the projected replacement for Darrell Henderson who is in a contract season and not expected to return to the team in 2023. With two 1,000-yard campaigns to end his time at Notre Dame, Williams also shined as a receiver, reeling in 77 receptions in those same final two years. Soon to be 22, Kyren Williams isn't expected to have material production in his rookie year but should receive an upgrade in 2023. He's found as DLF's RB77.
Dynasty | The Ravens activated running back J.K. Dobbins from the PUP list Dynasty Analysis: Dobbins was pushing to return and was granted the green light on Monday and it's said he's on track to be ready for week one. It's been a year since Dobbins tore his ACL and his timeline for return was expected to allow for full-health by week one. It's great news for Dobbins, the Ravens and his dynasty coaches who badly missed his presence in 2021. The bruising runner rushed for 805 yards and nine touchdowns in his rookie year on only 134 carries, good for an amazing 6.0 ypc. average. The question for Dobbins will surround his role within the teams committee rotation, including the impact of Lamar Jackson's rushing prowess. But as seen with his rookie year production, a healthy allotment of touches should provide for an even greater runway for increased 2022 production. Touchdown totals will be a concern inside the five yard line as fantasy coaches wait to see how the team will utilize Jackson's capable legs, perhaps at the expense of Dobbins. He's listed as DLF's RB14, showing that there's more than a little concern about Dobbins' injury when paired with Jackson under-center.
Dynasty | Ravens running back Gus Edwards is unlikely to return by week one of the regular season Dynasty Analysis: Edwards was one of the trio of running backs lost during the pre-season in 2021 and, like J.K. Dobbins, also tore his ACL. With Edwards staring down a start on the PUP list to start the season, Dobbins should work as the clear top back and receive a lion's share of the touches. In 2020, Edwards' last full season, he produced a 144/723/6 stat line as an early-down, between-the-tackles, chain-mover. Once healthy, he'd likely mix in with Dobbins on early downs but won't have a large role on down-and-distance situations. Edwards is in his age-27 season and is found as DLF's RB59.
Dynasty | No Giants player has fallen further this offseason than that of receiver Darius Slayton Dynasty Analysis: Even with injuries sidelining three receivers above him on the depth chart, Slayton still didn't mix in with the first-team. Running with the second and third teams, he remains inconsistent and is in danger of missing the cut. As an added incentive to send the receiver packing, the team can gain $2.5M of cap savings be trading or releasing him. Now 25, Slayton showed promised in his first two years with the Giants before turning in a disappointing 2021 campaign. He's now all but fallen from the dynasty radar and is listed as DLF's WR104. Look for Slayton to be released in the coming weeks or perhaps traded (CHI?) into a better situation.