Three and out: Charles ready for return

The Punisher: Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles expects to be medically cleared to play on June 18th, as he returns to action after tearing his ACL last season. The speedy back doesn’t just plan on making a comeback, he plans on “punishing” defenses. When speaking with the Kansas City Star, Charles stated, “When they let that cape off me, I’m ready to go. I’m ready to put my cleats back on and punish everybody in my way.” In his absence, running back Peyton Hillis has been taking first team reps during OTA workouts. The two could form one of the better running back duo’s in the league. The Chiefs are likely to lean on the run game this season, giving both backs fantasy value. Charles will be the back you want to select in fantasy drafts as a No. 2 running back with top tier potential. Hillis is a must handcuff for Charles owners and could far exceed his average draft position if he returns to 2010 form.

On the right track: Detroit Lions receiver Titus Young has been extremely impressive during minicamp, showing off his speed and playmaking abilities. Per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, coach Jim Schwartz believes Young has “looked the best that I’ve seen him look in this couple-week span. But we just need to keep him on this track because he’s been outstanding.” The Lions have been searching for a standout wide receiver to pair with Calvin Johnson ever since the departure of Roy Williams. Even with Megatron serving as the primary target, Young’s fantasy value could rocket if he beats out Nate Burleson and wins the number two wide receiver role. Despite starting only nine games in 2011, Young caught six touchdowns to go with 607 receiving yards. With a full season as a starter, Young is likely to improve on those numbers. Currently a middle-to-late-round target, the receiver will be a name to watch during fantasy drafts.

Carolina two: In coach Ron Rivera’s eyes, Carolina Panthers receiver Brandon LaFell is his number two receiver. As reported by the Gaston Gazette, Rivera thinks LaFell has earned the starting role opposite Steve Smith. “Brandon is starting to establish himself, which I think is important…Brandon should always have that carrot in front of him because he’s a young guy that’s learning and growing and the more he grows the better he’s going to be.” Even with Rivera’s praise, LaFell’s fantasy value is limited. The Panthers now have a three-headed rushing attack after signing Mike Tolbert, Steve Smith deserves plenty of looks, and Cam Newton’s running ability will all leave LaFell with limited opportunities. The receiver should be selected in the later rounds of fantasy drafts for depth purposes.

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