Injury list growing as fantasy drafts approach

As training camp continues and preseason games get underway, the list of injuries is growing. A few fantasy stars like Drew Brees and Rob Gronkowski are in the news for some non-alarming issues, but their situations still shouldn't be ignored. Get caught up on the latest developments so that when it comes time to draft your team, you can be aware of which players are really banged up so you don't wind up with an injury-riddled roster.

Drew Breessuffered an oblique strain late last week which caused him to miss the Saints' Saturday scrimmage. The injury is not considered serious as New Orleans has labeled Brees day-to-day and expects him to be able to recover after a few consecutive days of rest. Don't draft him any lower than you normally would unless this grows into a bigger issue.

Rob Gronkowski did not travel with the Patriots to Richmond, Virgina as they embark on three days of joint practice with the Washington Redskins leading up to Thurday's preseason matchup. The tight end hasn't had any setbacks as he rehabs his surgically repaired knee but the team is playing it safe with Tom Brady's favorite target as expected. He remains on track to be ready to spike come Week 1.

The Broncos lead running back will undergo an appendectomy this week but will be ready to lead the Broncos backfield in the regular season opener. Ball's absence will leave room for C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman to duke it out for the No. 2 spot in the Broncos backfield. Whoever wins the job will be a handcuff for fantasy owners to target in later rounds.

The hits keep on coming for the Jags. We know two of their top wideouts aren't with the team (Justin Blackmon, Ace Sanders) as they deal with off-field issues. Two more receivers -- Cecil Shorts and rookie Allen Robinson -- are sidelined with a hamstring issues, missing Monday's practice.

Now one of few guaranteed featured backs in 2014, Toby Gerhart, is reportedly day-to-day with a hip flexor strain -- the same type of injury Ray Rice dealt with last year.

Fortunately, Gerhart will only miss a few days according to the team's official site. In his absence, backup Jordan Todman should get some first team reps. The team's first preseason game is Friday night against the Bucs, so it will be interesting to see if Gerhart is available for the matchup. If not, keep an eye on how the team incorporates Todman into the ground game, with third stringer Storm Johnson behind him. As long as Gerhart's injury doesn't become a long term issue, his current ADP of Round 6 should continue to rise as fantasy drafts approach and owners realize just how much potential value he carries.

It was announced Monday that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will not suit up for the team's first preseason game this Thursday against the San Diego Chargers. Romo is easing his way back from back surgery last December to repair a herniated disk. The quarterback has been practicing with his team but took back-to-back days off last Friday and Saturday. Romo said last week that he was 100 percent but there's no reason for the Cowboys to overwork their franchise signal-caller in the preseason. After all, Romo sat out his team's first preseason game last year and still finished as a top 10 fantasy option at his position. Unless he suffers a real setback other than simply being rested, there's no need to worry about Romo from a fantasy perspective this season.

Veteran runner Steven Jackson could miss all of the Falcons' training camp after suffering a hamstring injury last week. Coach Mike Smith did his best to reassure naysayers by stating that Jackson would be ready to go for the team's season opener. On the plus side, it's not the same hamstring that Jackson tore in Week 2 of the 2013 season leading to four missed games in the worst statistical campaign of his career.

Unfortunately after undergoing tests Monday, the news is not looking good for the Giants' back David Wilson. According to multiple reports, the 23-year-old Wilson will "most likely" be placed on injured reserve and his hopes of playing ever again have been dispelled after team doctors have advised him to no longer play football.

Wilson was a longshot to have much value this season due to the neck injury, but this confirmation opens the door for other members of the Giants' backfield to emerge in fantasy. We know Rashad Jennings is the clear cut starter, and big rookie Andre Williams had an impressive outing in the Hall of Fame Game Sunday night against the Bills, making his way into the end zone for the first preseason touchdown of the 2014 season. If Williams continues to get the goal line work, he could build some decent fantasy value for himself with a potential to see eight or more touchdowns, a la Andre Brown in 2012. Keep your eye on the young runner as the preseason rolls on.

Originally it was said that Knowshon Moreno would only be sidelined for about a month and that he would be able to participate in training camp after undergoing a procedure to repair his knee. But two weeks into camp and about six weeks removed from the operation, Moreno is still rehabbing on the side while his teammates practice in full at Dolphins camp.

His fantasy stock for this season was already on a downward trend but the fact that he has no timetable for return really puts a damper on things. Moreno's absence only gives Lamar Miller more time to prove he's capable of being the team's No. 1 runner, in turn making him the more valuable fantasy pick for the time being.

Coach Joe Philbin said that he has no idea how many snaps each running back will be in line for once Moreno is back, because he really hasn't seen him run at full strength since the former Bronco was acquired by Miami this offseason. The Miami Herald recently reported that even once he's healthy "it will be hard to make Moreno a starter" upon his return. Moreno should be avoided in fantasy drafts until we have more of an idea of what exactly his role will be when and if he returns healthy.

After injuring his knee over the weekend, Dolphins starting tight end Charles Clay will be held out of "multiple practices" this week and could miss the team's first preseason game.

Clay ranked seventh overall in receptions at his position in 2013 with 69 and scored six touchdowns. He's currently the 12th tight end coming off NFL.com fantasy draft boards ahead of guys like Antonio Gates and Delanie Walker. Although his injury is not considered serious, his recovery is something to keep an eye on as your fantasy draft approaches, especially if you will be waiting to draft a tight end until the later rounds.

Rounding out the Miami section with some good news out of Dolphins camp, wideout Mike Wallace returned to practice on Monday morning with his team after missing time last week with a hamstring.

The Phins have been "moving Wallace around" in new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor's scheme. An arrangement reportedly similar to Chip Kelly's strategy in Philadelphia, Miami is looking for Wallace to play the "DeSean Jackson role" in their scheme. If all of these encouraging training camp reports about the new Miami game plan hold true come September, Wallace could end up being a great value pick at the wideout position as his current ADP is Round 10 in standard NFL.com fantasy drafts. A hamstring is an injury of the nagging nature, so Wallace's situation is one to monitor as preseason games get underway.

-- Follow Matt on Twitter @m_franciscovich

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