Now that training camps are open all over the country, there will be reports of various players going on the physically unable to perform list. That will bring with it requisite freakouts by fantasy football enthusiasts. While we can't control the former, we can do our best to tamp down the latter.
The @NFLFantasy handle was flooded with questions about Arian Foster after word broke that he was placed on the Houston Texans PUP list. Slow your roll, folks. This news is not a guarantee that Foster will miss the preseason ... or that he'll miss any significant time at all. After all, we're less than two years removed from the "anti-awesomeness" that was his hamstring injury of 2011. Foster missed three games that season and still finished as the fourth-best fantasy running back. When there's actually a reason to freak out about Foster, you'll know about it.
But just to prove that not all PUP lists are created equal ... Rob Gronkowski endding up on said list is a little more troubling simply because the Patriots have been vague about the tight end's timeline to return. Then again, the Patriots are vague on just about everything. So maybe that's not the best example. The point is, it pays to look deeper inside the reasons why a guy's name shows up on the list -- not just that he is on the list.
Holmes remains a mystery
For a team that has become an all-too-easy punchline for people like me, it's still somewhat amazing that the New York Jets can remain newsworthy. But give them credit, they find ways to do it. The latest is wide receiver Santonio Holmes' cryptic response to being asked whether he'll be ready for the regular season.
Okay then. When he will be able to answer the question, well ... no one really knows. Holmes essentially directed all inquiries about his readiness in the direction of his troublesome foot. As of now, the foot's keeping its mouth shut.
The one thing we can decipher is that it's becoming less likely that fantasy owners will be able to solidly count on Holmes for the 2013 season. When he's healthy, he's unquestionably the Jets' most dangerous weapon in the passing game. In his absence, Gang Green will have to turn to some combination of Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill, Braylon Edwards and others. But just because the Jets do it doesn't mean you have to.
» Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said for the umpteenth time that the team's priority is to re-establish Darren McFadden as a offensive force in 2013. It's a refrain Allen has sung into every microphone placed in front of him this offseason. And we're all for it. Now if only they could create some sort of body armor to get Run DMC through a 16-game season.
» Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin says Ben Roethlisberger is having "a little discomfort" in his surgically-repaired knee. The idea of Big Ben playing in pain is nothing new. In fact, it would almost be news if he was 100 percent healthy. Although a knee injury could limit his ability to extend plays -- which would take away from what makes his game so dynamic. He's probably a No. 3 quarterback, all things considered.
» It looks like Aaron Dobson could be the answer to the trivia question: Who will start at WR opposite Danny Amendola in 2013? At least that's how training camp is beginning for the New England Patriots. Of course, this is the same team that lined Tim Tebow up at a receiver spot during its early workouts. Yet this doesn't seem like #Belitricks in action. On a team that's searching for help on the outside, the long and lean Dobson could be a good complement in the passing game.
» In the race to see who will back up Alfred Morris in Washington, Roy Helu is your early leader. He worked just ahead of Evan Royster in the team's rotation. If past is prologue, there won't be many touches to go around behind Morris (and possibly Robert Griffin III). There's always a chance #Shanahanigans take effect, but after Morris' breakout rookie season, it seems unlikely. Whoever wins the No. 2 job is a handcuff option at best.
» Saints head coach Sean Payton says Mark Ingram will be a big part of New Orleans' rushing attack in 2013. Whether that's the case all season long depends a lot on Ingram. He's averaged less than four yards per carry in his first two NFL seasons and has had to battle in a crowded backfield. This is likely a make-or-break season for the former Heisman Trophy winner and for the time being, we remain skeptical.