Three and out: Saints to utilize Ingram

Ingram to be “heavily involved”: Mark Ingram is already making an impression at Saints training camp. In fact, Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune tweeted that the rookie will be very much involved in the offense right out of the gate. Ingram figures to see plenty of early-down work for coach Sean Payton, and I also think he’ll be the favorite for goal-line carries, which just adds to his draft value. While the backfield is a bit crowded with Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles in the mix, Ingram still has middle-round value as a No. 2 or 3 fantasy runner. He will no doubt be the first player taken in many dynasty leagues.

McFadden to miss two weeks: Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Darren McFadden is out two weeks with a fractured orbital bone in his eye. The ailment won’t endanger his status for Week 1, but it is a reminder of McFadden’s frequent injury history. Barring a setback, I still see him as a middle- to late first-round choice. After all, he has an intimate knowledge of coach Hue Jackson’s system and has major statistical potential as the team’s offensive centerpiece. If you do land Run DMC, though, it’s a good idea to grab Michael Bush in the middle to late rounds as insurance.

Edwards signs with the Niners: Braylon Edwards hasn’t exactly been a reliable fantasy wide receiver and, in fact, has been mediocre at best outside of his breakout season of 2007. Edwards isn’t likely to re-gain his once elite status with the 49ers — he’ll be more of a No. 4 fantasy option in most formats. But what does his signing mean for Michael Crabtree? Crabtree will miss his third straight preseason with a foot injury, and it’s hard not to think the addition of Edwards could be tied to that situation. Despite his potential, it’s tough to take a chance on Crabtree as anything more than a late-round, risk-reward selection.

Extra points:

  • Fantasy owners worried that Le’Ron McClain will take carries from Jamaal Charles — especially those near the goal line — should put those concerns to bed. Chiefs coach Todd Haley told the Kansas City Star that McClain will be a pure fullback and is no threat to the workload of Charles or Thomas Jones. Charles remains a top-five fantasy pick in all 2011 fantasy drafts.
  • According to the Nashville Tennessean, Titans WR Kenny Britt has missed seven straight days of camp due to his injured hamstring. The team hopes to get him back to practice next week, but at this point the injury isn’t as much of concern as a potential NFL suspension for his off-field issues. Britt has middle-round value as things stand now.
  • reports that Andy Dalton has taken around 70 percent of the first-team snaps at training camp. Bruce Gradkowski is also in the mix, but Dalton looks like the favorite in Week 1. Fantasy owners need to keep that in mind when drafting A.J. Green or Jerome Simpson, as the prospect of a rookie quarterback puts a cap on their draft value.

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