2013-08-03 11:00:00 EDT
Well, today is the day. Even though it may not feel like it yet (and we’re still getting used to the fact), the NFL season is officially here. The league’s annual Hall of Fame game kicks off tonight with the Dolphins and Cowboys facing off in what’s sure to be a backup-heavy affair. That said, let’s take a closer look at some of the noteworthy names out there who are making headlines this morning. Here’s the latest.
Jared Cook, TE, St. Louis Rams: Cook will be getting some hard looks from fantasy owners in the coming months, as the thin TE market necessitates creative solutions. He’s not a bad name to target as a breakout candidate, however. Cook has reportedly been working very well with Rams QB Sam Bradford, and the two are expected to hook up quite a bit during the season.
Draft-wise, you should view Cook as a higher end TE name if you want to get him. He’ll go as high as No. 7 or so among those at his position.
Daryl Richardson, RB, St. Louis Rams: Let’s stick in St. Louis for a moment and check in on Richardson. He’s just about the only thing to get excited about right now in the Rams backfield, as he’s expected to hold an edge over fellow backs Zac Stacy and Isaiah Pead.
Exactly how the Rams intend to use their three-headed RB monster has yet to be seen, but it’s assumed Richardson will cover the passing-down and goal-line work while Stacy and Pead compete for the carries. That said, Richardson is probably an early-30s name among fantasy backs, so he’ll find his spot on rosters as a backup.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers: Shifting focus to Carolina, there are rumors that Williams will have a more active role this season, as the offense shifts focus to a more run-based attack. Sure, we’ve heard that before from the Panthers, but at least they’re still going through the motions.
Even if healthy and utilized as the team intends, Williams remains a 30s-40s RB name. He’ll gain some value if teammate Jonathan Stewart remains sidelined (ankle surgeries) into the regular season. There’s no word on Stewart’s timeline just yet, but it doesn’t sound too good.
Steve Johnson, WR, Buffalo Bills: We like Johnson as a No. 3 fantasy receiver, but his injury issues are starting to worry us. He strained his hamstring during practice on Friday, and continues to sit out as he attempts to recuperate. Word is he could be out for the bulk of the preseason.
Assuming Johnson can come back at full strength from this, he’ll make a fine addition to your fantasy roster. He’s got big-play capability and should make a nice find for the 20s among his position.
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