2019 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Injuries, news, and notes on Le'Veon Bell, Damien Williams, Amari Cooper

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The Jets have an interesting preseason decison to make with Le'Veon Bell. The question arises whether he should play at all in preseason, which sounds kind of crazy for a player who hasn't competed on an NFL field since Jan. 14, 2018.

Bell says he wants to get some preseason game action but doesn't think he really needs it. 

"I think once I get out there — you know, football is football, I've been playing for so long so  it's just going to naturally come back to me — I'll get adjusted to the game and a couple plays, I'm ready to go," Bell told northjersey.com. 

NYJ N.Y. Jets • #26
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
YTD Stats
RUYDS
0
REC
0
REYDS
0
TD
0
FPTS/G
0

It has become a tough decision for lots of coaching staffs: getting their top guys ready vs. risking them to injury in meaningless exhibitions.

Jets coach Adam Gase sounds like he wants to keep his top weapon fresh for the Jets' Sept. 8 opener with the Bills, but says it may be up to Bell to decide if he needs the work. For now, Bell is grateful the Jets are looking out for him.

"I want him good for Week 1," Gase said.

We do, too.  That will make Bell an even more interesting draft decision for Fantasy managers and one of the biggest wild cards in every draft. FYI, our guys have Bell ranked 15-15-12 in PPR at this moment.

DAL Dallas • #19
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.

With contract talk surrounding Zeke Elliott and Dak Prescott overshadowing everything at Cowboys camp, there might be a worry surrounding another key offensive weapon — Amari Cooper. One Dallas outlet reports that Cooper's bruised heel might be something more concerning.

The angst-tinged report suggests Cooper's issue might be with a foot ligament instead of a bruise. Cooper was so great in the nine games he played for Dallas after the Oct. 22 trade from — 53 catches, 725 yards, six touchdowns — that he quickly blasted back into WR1 territory.

Our guys have him ranked from 22-30 in PPR. 

KC Kansas City • #26
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
YTD Stats
RUYDS
0
REC
0
REYDS
0
TD
0
FPTS/G
0

This running back committee talk coming out of Kansas City is hard to hear for managers getting ready for Fantasy drafts. Damien Williams, so amazing down the stretch last season, is too smart to object to what seems like a demotion.    

Williams is still a second- or third-round Fantasy pick in most rankings, although that could drop again if rookie Darwin Thompson continues to impress and earn more touches. If Williams' hamstring becomes a nagging issue, all bets are off, and his mid-career breakout downshifts back to role player.

Already, Williams' draft stock is taking a hit. Our Heath Cummings reflected on that on Tuesday. 

DEN Denver • #10
Age: 32 • Experience: 10 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
71
TAR
99
REYDS
868
TD
6
FPTS/G
16.6

Emmanuel Sanders is 32 and coming off an Achilles injury Week 12 last December against the Bengals. The cool part is that the nine-year veteran — with 535 catches and 7,024 receiving yards in the books — says he will be ready to go when the Broncos open in Oakland Sept. 9 on Monday Night Football.

Sanders was having a really nice season with 71 catches for 868 yards and four touchdowns in a gimpy Denver offense before going down, and he becomes an interesting upside options in drafts.

WAS Washington • #29
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.

Adrian Peterson, 34, gave Colt McCoy an endorsement in the three-way quarterback battle in Washington, which doesn't move the needle for Fantasy players who can't expect much out of any of the three contenders. Peterson and many others seem more concerned about the nasty holdout of veteran left tackle Trent Williams, which could be a major issue for a team that has struggled with O-line depth in recent seasons. Many teams have.

Meanwhile, coach Jay Gruden said Derrius Guice is still not cleared to return to the field as the 'Skins closed up training camp and returned to Ashburn for practices. Peterson said he has been advising backfield mate Guice on learning to trust his knee after a torn ACL. Nobody knows that better than Peterson, who returned from a blown-out knee to rush for an astounding 2,097 yards in 2012. 

BAL Baltimore • #81
Age: 25 • Experience: 2 yrs.
YTD Stats
REC
0
TAR
0
REYDS
0
TD
0
FPTS/G
0

What we all want, of course, is to get all of the stats a team generates for its tight ends in one guy — a Gronk or Kelce or Kittle. But the Ravens apparently are one of those teams unlikely to give us that unless an injury intervenes.

During minicamp and early training camp, Mark Andrews was getting glowing reviews and entering sleeper territory. But the sleeper we liked in Baltimore last summer now looks all the way back after a tough rookie season. Hayden Hurst is back impressing in camp and doing sleeper-y things. He says he's added serious muscle and is "on a mission."

Also the Ravens get some praise with their patience with first-round pick Hollywood Brown, whose electrifying game enticed the Ravens to draft him in Round 1 despite a Lisfranc injury suffered late last season at Oklahoma. The Ravens have previously been stung by injuries that derailed wideout Breshad Perriman and Hurst. According to this report, Brown is just beginning to show his hot wheels. That should be fun.

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