After months and months of waiting, NFL Training Camp is finally here!
Throughout each afternoon, the RSJ staff is tracking fantasy football news and highlights from around the league, serving as your lead blockers to fantasy greatness. From buzzy highlights to common coach-speak to season-altering injuries, we’ve got you covered.
Here are some standout fantasy news and notes from training camps around the NFL on July 27.
Joe Burrow carted off the practice field
#NFLTwitter went into a frenzy late afternoon when Joe Burrow went down with a scary non-contact injury while moving out of the pocket. Burrow immediately grabbed his upper calf and stayed down for a few minutes while the Cincy training staff evaluated him. After a few minutes, he was carted off to the Bengals’ locker room.
While being video diagnosed by everyone on Twitter who ruptured their Achilles in an over-35 men’s basketball league, Zac Taylor told reporters that Burrow suffered a calf injury. ESPN’s Dianna Russini later confirmed Taylor’s words.
Dalvin Cook is flying to New York to meet with the Jets
Arguably the biggest name still left in free agency, Dalvin Cook is meeting with the New York Jets today. With the ACL injury to Breece Hall last year, the Jets will likely ease in its future workhorse back, meaning Cook could easily step into a key role for the league’s new hot commodity. Coming off of his fourth straight 1,000-plus yard rushing season, Cook still has some juice left in the tank.
With Aaron Rodgers recently taking a team-friendly pay cut, the stars are aligning for the Jets to add another playmaker to their roster by adding even more buzz to the Hard Knocks centerpiece.
Travis Etienne: Drawing rave reviews in the passing game
Jaguars RB Travis Etienne has a massive spotlight on him this year after his first full season. Many think Etienne will continue to rise up the RB ranks thanks to the overall improvement of the Jaguars’ offense, a large workload, and a fully healthy offseason. Others think the addition of Tank Bigsby, his lack of pass-game involvement, and various coach speak will pull on the reigns of Etienne’s usage.
Nonetheless, Etienne had a high volume last year running the ball but had little work in the receiving game and did not fare too well on the goal line. If his numbers can jump drastically as a receiving option, then Etienne is in for another very solid year and could enter RB1 territory.
But, not to be outdone, Bigsby had a big day as a pass-catcher as well, proving he’s more than just a bulldozer.
Javonte Williams is cleared for contact and back to his pre-injury speed
Broncos RB Javonte Williams has been cleared for contact after tearing his ACL back in Week 4 last season. Williams’ timetable was set at a year to 18 months for recovery, and now just ten months later, he’s cleared for contact and his speed is looking just up to par with what it was at full strength.
Williams has legitimate upside in Sean Payton’s offense after showing massive promise as a rookie. With Nathaniel Hackett gone, the Broncos’ offense should take a significant step forward with its loaded weaponry cabinet. If Williams can play that feature-back role under Payton, he could return high-end value for those who drafted him in Best Ball on Underdog Fantasy.
Rashee Rice is leading all Chiefs receivers in first-team reps
“Since Toney’s injury, Rice is the receiver who has received the most reps with the first-team offense. Rice appears to be making fewer mistakes with each passing day, and his catching ability — whether with routine passes, fastballs between multiple defenders or perfect passes from Mahomes just over the outstretched arms of a defender — has been splendid.”Nate Taylor, The Athletic
We know how prolific the Chiefs offense is with the duo of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. However, with the departure of JuJu Smith-Schuster and now injury to Kadarius Toney (again), there are plenty of targets and opportunity up for grabs amongst the Chiefs’ young receivers.
Sporting decent draft capital, Rashee Rice was taken in the second round and appears to be slowly separating himself from the other competition. Dueling with the likes of Skyy Moore and Justyn Ross, the opportunity is certainly there for someone to step up and be the true WR1 for the NFL’s best QB and thus make themselves very fantasy relevant. It appears Rice has the early leg up in doing so.
OTHER FANTASY NOTES
- Garrett Wilson left practice with an ankle injury
- Darren Waller continues to dominate Giants’ camp
- Panthers rookies Bryce Young and Jonathan Mingo seem to be coming along nicely
- The Wolf will have a nice welcome home gift from his honeymoon
- New England Patriots appear set with JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, and Tyquan Thornton as their top four WR options.
- Noah Fant placed on the PUP list to start camp after knee surgery
- Laviska Shenault continues to get work in the backfield for Carolina, showing his versatility (lol)
- Dolphins All-Pro corner Jalen Ramsey was carted off with a knee injury and will undergo an MRI to determine its severity