Fantasy News and Notes – July 28, 2014

Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens – In case you didn’t hear the NFL unleashed a punishment on Ray Rice that he’ll “never forget”… two whole games. Clearly we shouldn’t mess with Roger Goodell or he’ll drop the hammer. If he does it again it’s no dessert for a week.

All personal feelings aside, Rice and his fantasy owners really dodged a bullet here and he should move up in draft rankings accordingly, but I’m still not willing to pay a high price for him. Not because of what he did, but because he looked flat awful last season and he has a ton of mileage on his tires in both the regular season and the playoffs.

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks – Coming off Jamaal Charles one-day holdout turned payday, Marshawn Lynch is starting a holdout of his own in Seahawks camp. Unfortunately for Lynch, he has nowhere near the same leverage as Charles with talented Christine Michael and Robert Turbin behind him. With the Seahawks having cap space issues and the need to get Russell Wilson signed long term a pay raise seems unlikely for Lynch and I would anticipate he shows up to camp after a couple of weeks off. If not, Christine Michael has top 5 ability and you should draft him everywhere.

Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers – Going in to his final season with the Packers Jordy was seeking $10M a year and this weekend the Packers met his demands with a 4 year $39M contract that will keep him in title town. Fellow receiver Randall Cobb is also a free agent and the Packers will now devote their efforts to getting him signed long term as well.

Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars – Blackmon was arrested for marijuana possession on Wednesday when he was stopped for a traffic violation. He later admitted to smoking a blunt while driving. Obviously for someone with Blackmon’s drug history this is a serious step backwards. If you were counting on him for the 2014 season you can safely let him go, and at this rate his dynasty value is slipping away very rapidly as well.

Kendall Hunter, San Francisco 49ers – Hunter tore his ACL in workouts this weekend and will miss the entire 2014 season. In fantasy terms this is a big boost to rookie Carlos Hyde who should be the clear backup to Frank Gore this season. Marcus Lattimore isn’t ready and should Gore falter at all Hyde has the ability to be a top 10 back in fantasy.

Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars – Shorts strained his hamstring in training camp and will miss a couple of weeks as a result. This isn’t Shorts first go round with a hamstring injury so it’s becoming a bit of a concern. The injury opens the door for rookies Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee to run with the first team in camp.

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers – Newton admitted that he was “not yet 100 percent” after undergoing an early March ankle surgery. Newton appears to be on pace to be ready for training camp but for him to admit that he’s not ready publicly is a bit of a concern. I’m not dropping him in my rankings yet but any setbacks or struggles over the next month would make me very nervous to draft him.

Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings – Patterson will miss a couple of days of training camp with a minor foot injury. The injury does not appear to be serious and he should be back on the field sometime this week.

Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints – Stills left Saints camp on Friday with a quad injury and was held out over the weekend. Stills showed a lot of promise as the Saints vertical threat, but obviously missing any significant portion of training camp would be a big blow to his 2014 season.

Vick Ballard, Indianapolis Colts – Ballard suffered a torn Achilles on Friday and will miss the entire 2014 season. Ballard was third on the Colts depth chart and wasn’t fantasy relevant in most leagues, but the injury will mean more carries for Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw.

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