As the Antonio Brown retirement worries have died down (for now), it’s only fitting that another player’s status moves further and further into doubt. That’s Andrew Luck, whose injury the Colts can’t seem to properly diagnose. Fantasy owners who’ve already drafted must be holding their breath, and still-developing cheat sheets surely call for alterations when it comes to Indy’s franchise passer. In addition, the WR rankings continue to take shape as Amari Cooper battles a foot problem and Golden Tate’s suspension was held up.
We’ll be here all preseason long providing you with the latest updates, including a look at rookies in Week 1 of the preseason. For more on NFL rookies, you can read our rookie rankings, and for your preseason listening needs, check out our season preview podcasts.
DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2019 Fantasy Cheat Sheet
Antonio Brown update
After reports suggested Brown could retire if he wasn’t allowed to wear his old helmet, he returned to Raiders camp on Tuesday. He has yet to participate in camp and is still on the search for a version of his helmet that is less than 10 years old, but it appears his long-term risk has dissipated. Instead, he’s just brought Chad Johnson’s negotiating power into the fray.
I’ll give you my Schutt Air Advantage Adult Large Helmet that i wore in 2010 if you tell Gruden to let me play in the slot on 3rd downs❓ https://t.co/GCuUy3DPxS
– Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) August 13, 2019
It looked like Brown was trending into the same territory as running back holdouts Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon. Instead, the only worry now seems to be that his frostbitten feet heal in time for Week 1. Reports suggest there shouldn’t be an issue there, and so while Brown has had one of the more unique offseasons in recent memory, he looks safe to select as a top-10 WR again.
Will Andrew Luck play in Week 1?
Luck won’t play this preseason — that much we know. For a QB as proven as him, that wouldn’t be too concerning except for the fact that the Colts can’t seem to pin down his injury. On Tuesday, Colts owner Jim Irsay said that Luck was dealing with a “small little bone” issue. But later in the day, GM Chris Ballard said it was the “high ankle area” that “needs to be addressed.” Until Indianapolis nails down Luck’s injury, there won’t be any more clarity on his Week 1 availability.
Luck felt safe enough that we slotted him No. 2 in our initial QB rankings. That was before he seemed like a huge injury question mark. He’s going to start dropping fast, as the other QBs in his range, such as Deshaun Watson and Aaron Rodgers, don’t present the same uncertainty at this point. Until the injury is really figured out, though, it’s hard to say just how much Luck’s value — or the value of Indianapolis’s other skill players — will be affected.
Amari Cooper injury update
The Cowboys’ star wideout hasn’t practiced in a week due to plantar fascia irritation in one of his feet. It’s not the type of issue that should lead to further injury or keep Cooper off the field, but it’s a nagging issue that could stick with him or need proper load management if it persists into the regular season.
Cooper’s fantasy value shouldn’t change because of this. He’s still a borderline WR1/WR2. It’s never great to see any star player missing practices, though, especially when they’ve also got the possibility of a new contract on their mind. Expect Cooper to suit up Week 1 and get his usual usage.
Golden Tate’s suspension upheld
Although Tate seemed to have a compelling argument in his appeal, precedent won out and Tate’s four-game suspension was upheld. He’ll return in Week 5 for the Giants’ home meeting with the Vikings.
The race is now on for Sterling Shepard to return from his fractured thumb in time for Week 1 to claim high-volume targets in New York’s receiving corps. Tate’s absence should also benefit Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram in the passing game, and one of Bennie Fowler or Cody Latimer will probably wind up starting with Tate out. Once Tate returns, he’s a borderline starter in standard leagues and a good PPR option.
Kenyan Drake injury news
The Dolphins’ top RB left Tuesday’s practice early with a noticeable limp, as seen below. He won’t be participating in Wednesday’s practice, and he showed up in a walking boot, per multiple reports. The Palm Beach Post reports that the Drake injury isn’t structural, though.
This is obviously still a developing situation, as walking boots can be used for a number of different short- and long-term injuries. It’s worth monitoring, though. Kalen Ballage would get the first shot at taking over Drake’s role if he was forced to miss time. Rookie Myles Gaskin and former Cincinnati Bengal back Mark Walton would also stake their claim at increased roles.