RB Trent Richardson UP
So much for him being injury prone. Trent Richardson is, by all accounts, having a phenomenal pre-season and Training Camp and has gotten himself down to 225 pounds and in phenomenal shape. With Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator, he’s locked into a massive workload and should surpass the 318 touches he had last season. He averaged just 3.6 yards per carry last year thanks to injuries sapping his effectiveness, but he’s much more talented than that and he has a very strong offensive line in front of him.
Projection: 280 carries for 1260 rushing yards 11 total touchdowns 56 catches for 450 receiving yards (237 pts standard, 293 pts PPR)
WR Kenny Britt DOWN
I liked Kenny Britt as a sleeper because he was getting through the off-season without any off the field incidents or any injury problems. However, he’s going to miss the Titans’ final pre-season game with recurring knee problems and has reportedly had problems with swelling for a while. He might just never get healthy enough to make good on his talent. He’s still a nice sleeper, but he’s only a WR4 or WR5.
Projection: 55 catches for 880 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns (124 pts standard, 179 pts PPR)
WR Nate Washington UP
With Kenny Britt remaining an injury risk, Nate Washington gets a stock up. He’s been Jake Locker’s preferred target this pre-season, as he was last season, but there’s not a lot of upside with him. He’s not the talent Britt can be when healthy and he’s unlikely to exceed last year’s 46/746/4 line by much in this receiving corps with the Titans’ quarterback situation.
Projection: 51 catches for 770 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns (107 pts standard, 158 pts PPR)
RB Eddie Lacy UP
DuJuan Harris is out for the season with a knee injury. He was Lacy’s only real competition for carries. Fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin has appeared overmatched thus far, while neither Alex Green nor James Starks is very good. Lacy is still a rookie and he’s still on a pass heavy offense, but he has plenty of talent and he’ll have plenty of room to run and goal line opportunities on Green Bay’s talented offense. He’s a RB2 that could be drafted in the 2nd round if you want to double up on backs.
Projection: 240 carries for 1030 rushing yards 10 total touchdowns 31 catches for 250 receiving yards (188 pts standard, 219 pts PPR)
RB Montee Ball DOWN
A day after being benched, Ronnie Hillman was back working with the first team offense again today. John Fox said that the Broncos will be using a running back committee, as he usually does. John Fox hates rookies, so while Ball should lead the team in touches, I think it’s generally a situation to avoid in fantasy this season, at least for drafting purposes.
Projection: 150 carries for 660 rushing yards 6 total touchdowns 17 catches for 130 receiving yards (115 pts standard, 132 pts PPR)
RB Ronnie Hillman UP
A day after being benched, Ronnie Hillman was back working with the first team offense again today. I still think he’s the 3rd most valuable fantasy back on this team, but it’s a situation to avoid entirely. Let someone else sort out this mess.
Projection: 100 carries for 450 rushing yards 3 total touchdowns 23 catches for 200 receiving yards (83 pts standard, 106 pts PPR)
WR Brandon Marshall DOWN
Brandon Marshall is upset that the Bears are not taking his hip problem, as he recovers from surgery, seriously. While the hip could be a problem that limits him this season, the bigger concern is Marshall, a notorious headache for coaches, being at odds with his coaching staff and speaking out publicly unprompted about the issue. It’s not a serious issue either way, but it’s enough to give me pause with Marshall in the first 2 rounds of a draft.
Projection: 91 catches for 1250 receiving yards 9 touchdowns (179 pts standard, 270 pts PPR)
WR Alshon Jeffery UP
With Marshall moving down, I’m moving Alshon Jeffery up, though Jeffery’s dominant pre-season alone might have been enough to move him up. He’s worth a flier in the later mid rounds and has WR3 upside.
Projection: 60 catches for 750 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns (111 pts standard, 171 pts PPR)
TE Travis Kelce UP
Tony Moeaki is expected to be done for the season with a fractured shoulder, but Travis Kelce might have beaten him out for the pass catching job either way. Still, with Moeaki gone, there will be plenty of playing time for the talented rookie and Alex Smith loves throwing to underneath targets so he’s worth a late round flier. Few TE2s have more upside.
Projection: 50 catches for 600 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns (84 pts standard, 134 pts PPR)