Here are our fantasy takes on the NFL news of the day …
Chris Johnson to hold out?: With the lockout still in force, it might be premature to start talking about players who could potentially hold out of training camp. But when that player is one of the top dogs in fantasy football, it’s hard not to notice. In a report in the Nashville Tennessean, Jim Wyatt suggested that CJ2K won’t report to camp without a new contract. And unlike last year, when Johnson accepted what amounted to a $1.5 million raise, Wyatt doesn’t think he’ll budge again. That’s cause for concern in fantasy circles, as many players who hold out of camp and return for the regular season tend to be more vulnerable to injuries. It happened to Steven Jackson years ago, and Darrelle Revis was affected last season — and those examples came in normal offseasons that includes OTAs. So if Johnson misses significant camp time, it’s going to be imperative for owners who draft him to also take Javon Ringer late as a handcuff and potential insurance for the stud runner.
Percy Harvin over migraines: Harvin’s name has been synonymous with his migraine problems ever since he stepped foot in the National Football League, and it’s been a concern for fantasy owners. But according to a report in The Virginian-Pilot, Harvin hasn’t had an episode in five or six months and feels like he’s in the best shape of his life. He’s also told the Pilot that his “explosion is to a whole ‘nother level.” While this is great news for both Harvin and his fantasy appeal, there’s still a situation in Minnesota that could give owners headaches — right now, Christian Ponder is the favorite to start under center. Sure, he has the tools and upside to be a nice NFL quarterback, but Ponder will go through more than his share of growing pains as a rookie. If the Vikings add a veteran, someone like Donovan McNabb, Harvin is going to be one of my top breakout candidates of 2011. But if it’s Ponder at the controls of the offense, even Harvin’s improved health won’t keep his value from dropping.
Daniel Thomas to have company: Dolphins coach Tony Sparano recently confirmed to the Miami Herald that the team is in the market for another running back to pair with Thomas. The Fins thought process before the draft was to “not have two of the same” type of running backs, but Sparano now admits “there’s a chance you could have two of the same again.” That means runners like Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams could be back in teal and orange. DeAngelo Williams could also be an option once player movement is allowed. Regardless, it looks like Thomas’ stock in both seasonal and dynasty leagues is going to drop at least slightly before the regular season starts — that means Saints runner Mark Ingram could actually become the top rookie to target in drafts.