You know the NFL season is right around the corner when Hard Knocks returns. HBO landed the Dallas Cowboys this year and last night’s episode was bookended by Dak Prescott’s health—his return from a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle that ended his season last year and him nursing his new shoulder injury.
While we wait for Dak to resume practicing, another brutal injury took place yesterday. Ravens rookie WR Rashod Bateman suffered a groin injury at Tuesday’s practice and has since received the dreaded “week-to-week” tag.
This isn’t a death knell for Bateman’s late season fantasy value, but it definitely puts a damper on things. Rookies need training camp and preseason to get up to speed, so this prolongs the runway until he can fully get up to speed.
Dr. Jene Bramel didn’t paint a rosy picture here:
I don’t think you can draft Bateman right now unless it’s in the last few rounds or if you have a big bench/IR spot. Sammy Watkins is a really nice late round flier in light of this news.
📚 The Fantasy Articles You Must Read
Fantasy Football: 2021 Quarterback Draft Approach by Rich Hribar. Lord Reebs breaks down QB targets, how to value specific archetypes, 2QB and SuperFlex approaches, and how to hunt for upside. Get access to all of Rich’s positional strategy articles at Sharp Football Analysis via a Rotopass sub.
2021 NFL training camps: 21 things we learned after the first 2 weeks by Gregg Rosenthal. Great look at the juiciest tidbits from NFL training camps from Greg. There’s an interesting note in there about the 49ers WR3.
ADP Battles: Edwards-Helaire vs. Swift vs. Dobbins by Jim Coventry. Jim Coventry breaks down three intriguing backs going in rounds 2 and 3 of drafts.
📰 Fantasy News for the true sickos.
* Saints WR Marquez Callaway is another “steady drumbeat” guy from camp as he continues to take advantage of Tre’Quan Smith not practicing. “Callaway is by far the ‘go-to’ man for Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill, with about 31 pass attempts in his direction, regardless of whether he’s with the first or second team quarterback. He’s caught the ball 19 times, by far more than any other receiver,” said Katherine Terrell.
* 49ers rookie RB Trey Sermon is picking things up quickly, per David Lomardi: “Sermon is smoothly absorbing the complex new playbook. That’s why he has enjoyed extensive time with the first-team offense.”
* We continue to get more and more indications that Darrynton Evans is going to be a factor in the Titans backfield this year:
* Legitimate LOL: just days after Jets WR Denzel Mims was furiously sliding down the depth chart, Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline now says that the trade rumors are untrue and that Mims has been a “quick study and has been the best receiver at camp in the past four days alongside Elijah Moore.” What a rollercoaster.
🚑 The Injury Ward
* Rams new starting RB Darrell Henderson suffered a hand injury during Tuesday’s practice, though he later returned to the field to do some drills. This doesn't seem like a big deal, but we’ll keep tabs on it.
* Zack Moss left Tuesday’s practice with a hamstring injury, per Sal Capaccio of WGR Sports Radio. We know how much hamstring injuries can linger, so Devin Singletary—who was already a value in drafts—should get a boost in ADP.
* Seahawks backup RB Rashaad Penny is still dealing with his minor thigh injury. It’s looking doubtful that he’ll play in the team’s preseason opener at Las Vegas this weekend.
* Raiders TE Darren Waller has now missed eight-straight practices and we still don’t have a reason. I’m somewhat concerned.
🐦 Tweet of the day.
If you’re taking stabs at the high upside rookie QBs like Trey Lance and Justin Fields who may not start Week 1, you might want to start thinking of a “bridge QB” to help you bide your time. Adam Levitan suggests a good one to pair with Lance:
See ya tomorrow.