Hey, Ameer Abdullah fantasy fans: Your worst nightmare has arrived. Lions RB Joique Bell, who had surgery on both his knee and Achilles' tendon during the offseason, was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on Monday. Bell was limited in practice, but took reps with the first-team offense, and the Lions seem cautiously optimistic that Bell will be ready to go in Week 1.
Abdullah might be the more explosive back at this point, but once Bell is fully healthy, look for him to get plenty of work in the red zone. The Lions' website says that Bell is "expected to share the bulk of the load in the Lions' backfield" with Abdullah. I've got Abdullah lower than most at RB28, and Bell at RB32. The coaches like and trust Bell, and they're going to use him.
In other news ...
Melvin Gordon is still the back to own in San Diego, but the Chargers aren't being shy about calling their backfield a committee.
Packers beat writer Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel appeared on SiriusXM Fantasy's Fantasy Football Show with John Hansen on Monday, and dropped two interesting nuggets. First, he thinks one result of Jordy Nelson's absence will be Eddie Lacy catching more passes out of the backfield. Second, he answered a question about intriguing WR Jeff Janis by noting that head coach Mike McCarthy will be hesitant to use (or even activate?) Janis because of poor special teams play.
We should know today if Jaguars TE Julius Thomas needs surgery on his broken right hand. If so, he's likely to be out until Week 4.
In other Jags' news, the team traded PK Josh Scobee to the Steelers, and will use Jason Myers to replace Scobee. I've got Scobee at PK11 in the rankings.
The NFL has upheld Martavis Bryant's four-game suspension. How many more players do you think will miss the Week 1 Patriots-Steelers game? I've got Bryant down to WR33, which doesn't seem as low as the consensus ranking. He'll still be pretty good when he gets back, right?
The Bills have named Tyrod Taylor as their starting quarterback. Running QBs are fun and all, but the Colts DST looks like an attractive Week 1 option against Taylor. I guess it would have looked that way no matter who the Bills started.
In other Bills news, RB Fred Jackson has been released. Jackson can still be a solid fantasy backup depending on where he lands.
Panthers WR Devin Funchess said his injured hamstring still didn't feel right on Monday, and the team acquired WR Kevin Norwood from the Seahawks to bolster the troubled position. Head coach Ron Rivera sounds like he's getting frustrated with Funchess' inability to practice. Here's an interesting take from Black & Blue Review on the state of the Panthers' wideouts.
Dolphins rookie WR DeVante Parker returned to practice on Monday, and the team is hopeful that he'll be ready to play in Week 1. It's tough to trust Parker right now, but he's got interesting upside at his 11th-round ADP. In other Miami receiver news, Rishard Matthews is "threatening to displace Kenny Stills in three-wide receiver sets," according to NFL.com.
Colts WR T.Y. Hilton is going through the NFL's concussion protocol after getting injured on Saturday. His Week 1 availability isn't in danger just yet.
Trent Richardson got cut? NO WAY!
So, the Jets are planning a three-man committee at running back. That doesn't even include Stevan Ridley, who is ticketed to start the season on the PUP list. Yippee.
Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) is far from certain to be ready for Week 1.
You already heard about the Redskins naming Kirk Cousins as their starting QB, right? Cousins has 18 touchdowns with 19 interceptions in his career. This won't go well.
See you back here Friday morning, or sooner if news warrants.