Le’Veon Bell Doesn’t Report, James Conner to Start
Apparently Mike Pouncey doesn’t know Le’Veon Bell as well as he thought. Bell did not report to the Steelers today, which basically ensures he will not be with the team against the Browns in week 1. It is truly impossible to say for sure when Bell will return. So if you used your first pick on him, I’m sorry. It sure seems like he will sit out half the season, which will cost him about $8M, but gives him a better chance at being healthy this offseason. Every week he sits, he forfeits $852,941. He can skip the first 10 weeks and still be eligible for free agency next offseason.
If you own Le’Veon Bell, what’s the next step? I don’t blame you for trying to trade him, but I wouldn’t just give him away. There’s a chance he “randomly” returns after James Conner performs well on Sunday. He will also be great for you down the stretch, if you can afford it. Speaking of James Conner, he’s a must-own in every league. My week 1 rankings can be found here, and I currently have Conner as RB14. I’m sure the Steelers would love to feature him.
DeVante Parker to Miss Week 1
Still recovering from a finger injury, Parker has been ruled out week one. The Dolphins will rely on Kenny Stills and Danny Amendola to shoulder the majority of the wide receiver work. We will likely see a bit more of Albert Wilson as well. Parker’s absence will likely benefit rookie tight end Mike Gesicki, who is listed third on the depth chart, but is expected to get work in the red zone. His athletic, 6-6 frame makes him a dangerous target for Ryan Tannehill.
Marlon Mack Sits Out
Marlon Mack is still sidelined with a hamstring injury. Colts beat reporter Stephen Holder said he “would be surprised if he comes close to playing” this week against the Bengals. In his absence, rookie Jordan Wilkins is expected to get the majority of the rushes with Christine Michael mixed in. Mack’s status should not affect Nyheim Hines, who is expected to play the pass-catching, Darren Sproles-like role for this offense.
Anthony Castonzo Still Sidelined
Obviously we’re not playing Castonzo in fantasy, but we do have to worry about the rest of the Colts. Anthony Castonzo is the Colts’ best lineman, and with him out, Le’Raven Clark would likely be protecting Andrew Luck’s blind side. With their star quarterback coming back from injury and plenty of questions in the backfield, this Indy offensive line needs to be ready to handle Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins and Michael Johnson.
Evan Engram Cleared for Week 1
Engram cleared the league’s concussion protocol, making him good to go against the Jaguars. While Engram is a great receiving option at the position, the matchup with Jacksonville looks to be a difficult one. The stout Jaguars defense were in the bottom third in points given up to tight ends last season. Currently, I have Engram as TE10 heading into the matchup.