NFL fantasy football: A.J. Green the next Megatron?

Elite education: NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports that Cincinnati Bengals wideout A.J. Green spent the summer working out and learning from Detroit Lions superstar Calvin Johnson. Both players trained together at the Georgia Tech facilities, where “Johnson tutored Green in fundamentals and technique.” Green has been one of the biggest risers in fantasy football drafts after finishing 14th among all wideouts in 2011 with 153 fantasy points. His current ADP of 27.93 slates him to be selected in the third round as the eighth receiver taken off the board. However, the Georgia product does face the toughest strength of schedule among all fantasy wideouts in 2012, and it remains to be seen if the loss of Jerome Simpson will affect how teams defend him. Regardless, he will be quarterback Andy Dalton’s No. 1 option and should see enough targets to offset the tough schedule.

Will Calvin Johnson’s help propel A.J. Green to the elite ranks? (Nick Wass/Associated Press)

Running scared: The Pittsburgh Steelers hired coach Todd Haley with the intention of renewing the running game, but it’s looking like that idea could be put on hold for a little while. Rashard Mendenhall was taken off the preseason PUP list last week, but as NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal points out “it would be surprising if he played in the first few weeks of the season.” Adding to the backfield issues is the health of presumptive starter Isaac Redman, who is “not really sure how the hip is going to hold up or if it’s going to hurt at all, or if I’m going to be fine.” Fantasy football owners will have to proceed with caution when considering which back to select. Even with the bleak news, Redman is expected to see the most work early in the season, and carries better fantasy upside for now as a No. 4 running back in drafts.

Stark outlook: Rob Reischel of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel made his projection of the Green Bay Packers’ 53-man roster and believes running back James Starks might not make the team. The idea is not too far-fetched considering the team signed Cedric Benson, who is expected to earn the starting job. The Packers reportedly also have high expectations for Alex Green, but are taking it slow as he returns from an ACL injury suffered last year. Should he cement the backup role, Starks could be left in the cold. Fantasy football owners will need to monitor the situation closely, but it looks like Starks should only be selected as a handcuff to Benson in the later rounds.

-Follow Adrian Mojica on Twitter @FFFdaily

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