Time for our fantasy takes on the NFL news of the day …
Concern about Peyton Manning?: With the lockout looking likely to end soon (keep your fingers crossed), talk of training camp is going to be rampant in the next few days. Unfortunately, Manning won’t be a participant when the Colts open camp. According to the Indianapolis Star, Manning’s rehab from offseason neck surgery could keep him out of action for anywhere from a week to the entire duration of camp. However, I still don’t think there is reason for fantasy owners to fret about the veteran’s status when the Colts open their season against the Texans on Sept. 11. After all, he’s never missed a start in his entire NFL career. And for an experienced guy like Manning, missing training camp isn’t as detrimental. So barring a setback in his recovery, I wouldn’t be concerned about drafting Manning for your fantasy team. Even at 35, he remains one of the game’s elite fantasy signal-callers.
V-Jax staying in San Diego: In a recent interview with XX1090 San Diego, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune stated that “Vincent Jackson will be a Charger, and that’s the bottom line,” under the $11.3 million franchise tag. That’s good news for fantasy owners, as Jackson has proven that he can be a productive and valuable option. Jackson already has a tremendous rapport with Philip Rivers, and the presence of Antonio Gates makes it tough for opposing defenses to focus on the star receiver. In his last 36 games, Jackson has averaged close to 70 yards per game — that projects to better than 1,100 yards over a full season. A potential draft bargain based on his lack of production in 2010, Jackson will come off the board between Rounds 3-5 in most leagues.
Bush to remain a Saint?: The Saints’ backfield is one of the situations that fantasy owners need to watch once the lockout ends, especially when it comes to the actual structure of its parts. We know that Mark Ingram is a lock to play a prominent role, while Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory are also going to be in the mix. But the X-factor here is whether Reggie Bush returns to the team. NFL.com’s Gil Brandt tried to shed a little light on the subject during his recent chat, suggesting that Bush “feels a real sense of loyalty to the city of New Orleans and to the Saints franchise,” and “would like to stay in New Orleans.” If the two sides can work out a deal, Bush would continue his role as a third-down and change-of-pace back — but he would also clutter what is already a full backfield.