Ameer Abdullah
Lions' Ameer Abdullah: Should get shot at heavy workload
Ameer Abdullah, RB, DET
6/23/2016
News: Abdullah (shoulder) will have every opportunity to earn most of the workload for the Lions' rushing attack, according to Tim Twentyman of the team's official site.

Abdullah missed the Lions' offseason program while recovering from January surgery to repair a torn labrum, but there doesn't seem to be any concern within the organization about his availability for training camp. Though not of much use to fantasy owners, Abdullah's rookie campaign wasn't a lost cause from his perspective, as he led the team in carries (143), rushing yards (597) and YPC (4.2), showing notable improvement along with the rest of Detroit's offense after Jim Bob Cooter replaced Joe Lombardi as the offensive coordinator mid-season. Abdullah averaged 10.7 carries for 51 yards (4.8 YPC) over the final six weeks, albeit with just one touchdown and 63 receiving yards (11 catches) while facing a soft part of the schedule. The 2015 second-round selection also did a better job taking care of the ball as the season progressed, with only one of his five fumbles occurring after Week 6, though it was still somewhat alarming to see his fumbling issues from college (23 on 980 touches) re-emerge. Assuming he returns to full health and mostly holds onto the ball, Abdullah doesn't have anything standing between him and the lead-back role, as Detroit's other running backs are either plodders (Stevan Ridley, Zach Zenner), pass-catching specialists (Theo Riddick) or special-teamers (George Winn). While easily the most explosive runner of the bunch, Abdullah is unlikely to surpass Riddick as the primary passing-down back -- a crucial role on a Detroit team that attempted 600+ passes each of the last six years. Further adding to Abdullah's workload concerns, Zenner and/or Ridley may take on most of the goal-line and short-yardage carries, with one of the two possibly even pushing for something akin to Joique Bell's role from last season. Even so, Abdullah offers an intriguing ceiling for prospective fantasy owners, entering his second NFL season with a clear path to lead-back status, assuming the shoulder checks out.

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Darren McFadden
Cowboys' Darren McFadden: Could be out for 3 months
Darren McFadden, RB, DAL
6/23/2016
News: McFadden (elbow) could miss three months, ESPN.com reports.

The Cowboys haven't provided any hints about McFadden's timeline since June 14, when head coach Jason Garrett said the veteran running back will miss "a couple months" after having surgery on his fractured elbow, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Early reports suggested that McFadden is expected to return at some point during training camp, which would likely give him a shot to be ready for Week 1. Subsequent reports have been a bit more pessimistic, suggesting McFadden will miss 2-3 months, with his rehab process potentially stretching closer to the regular season. Alfred Morris figures to take most of the second-team reps when training camp begins, but sixth-round rookie Darius Jackson could push for a role.

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Alfred Morris
Cowboys' Alfred Morris: Has shot to solidify job
Alfred Morris, RB, DAL
6/23/2016
News: Morris has a shot to solidify his roster spot in the absence of teammate Darren McFadden, who will likely miss most or all of training camp after undergoing surgery to address a fractured elbow, ESPN.com reports.

Morris presumably expected to push McFadden for the starting job after signing with Dallas in late March on a two-year, $3.5 million contract that has approximately $1.8 million in guarantees, including a $1 million signing bonus. While the cap-strapped Cowboys may have had some buyer's remorse once they drafted Ezekiel Elliott, it still seemed that the structure of Morris' contract all but assured the four-year veteran of a roster spot. With Elliott the presumed starter and McFadden now uncertain for Week 1, Morris will likely work with the second-team offense at the beginning of training camp, though he may have to hold off sixth-round rookie Darius Jackson, who put up elite marks in the 40-yard dash (sub-4.4), vertical jump (41 inches) and broad jump (133 inches) while checking in at 6-1, 220 pounds at his pro day. The Cowboys don't have a clear favorite for the backup work on passing downs, as Morris has just 47 career receptions and recently admitted that he's having a tough time learning the pass protections. Lance Dunbar (knee) would be an obvious choice if he were healthy, but he's still recovering from a torn ACL and MCL suffered in October.

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Roy Helu
Raiders' Roy Helu: Bouncing back fron hip woes
Roy Helu, RB, OAK
6/23/2016
News: Helu has yet to practice this offseason as he recovers from hip procedures, CSN Bay Area reports.

That said, the East Bay Times notes that coach Jack Del Rio expects Helu to be ready to go by training camp, at which time the change-of-pace back will have to contend with rookie DeAndre Washington and veteran Taiwan Jones to a lesser degree for complementary work behind the Raiders' top back, Latavius Murray.

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DeAndre Washington
Raiders' DeAndre Washington: Slated to work in complementary role
DeAndre Washington, RB, OAK
6/23/2016
News: Washington saw some work with the Raiders' first unit during last week's minicamp, CSN Bay Area reports.

While the reps he saw on that front do not signal that he's a threat to overtake top back Latavius Murray, the Raiders continue to evaluate the rookie, with an eye toward grooming him as a complementary option behind Murray. "He's really worked well for us thus far, so we're putting him in different situations, again, to get a feel for (his) strengths and how we can tailor plays, tailor situations so he can really flash for us," offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said of Washington. "He's going to be good in first, second or third down." In order to secure enough of a role in the Oakland offense to merit fantasy consideration, Washington -- a fifth-round pick in April -- will need to overtake Roy Helu Jr. and Taiwan Jones on the team's RB depth chart, but that's a very plausible outcome at this stage.

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Kenjon Barner
Eagles' Kenjon Barner: Could be on roster bubble
Kenjon Barner, RB, PHI
6/22/2016
News: Barner may find himself on the roster bubble, according to ESPN's Phil Sheridan.

Rookie UDFA Byron Marshall, also from the University of Oregon, has a skillset similar to Barner's as a fleet-footed scatback with potential to contribute in the return game. The Eagles also used a fifth-round pick on WVU product Wendell Smallwood, who joins a backfield that already had Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles. It thus seems Barner will have to fight for a roster spot, though it is worth nothing that Mathews has a lengthy injury history and Sproles just turned 33. A 2013 sixth-round selection, Barner has just 34 career carries for 131 yards, with 11 receptions for 29 yards.

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Joseph Randle
Joseph Randle: Faces added charge
Joseph Randle, RB, DAL
6/22/2016
News: Randle has been charged in Sedgwick County (Kansas) with one count of criminal threat for allegedly threatening a jail deputy last month, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Per ESPN.com, Randle is due back in court on July 6. The running back, who was released by the Cowboys this past November, also has preliminary hearings in two pending felony cases (also in Sedgwick County) on July 26.

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Kendall Gaskins
49ers' Kendall Gaskins: Signs two-year deal
Kendall Gaskins, RB, SF
6/20/2016
News: Gaskins signed a two-year contract with the 49ers.

Gaskins was on the 49ers practice squad in 2014 and at the beginning of 2015 before being pulled up to San Francisco's active roster around midseason and playing in the final nine games last year. He recorded 38 yards on 16 rushes and 69 yards on eight receptions in those nine games, but his major contribution was on special teams, where he played 35 percent of the team's snaps. Now that he's been signed once again, the third year running back will be looking to make the roster, but it seems unlikely that he becomes relevant in any fantasy format unless injuries force him into a larger role on offense.

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Arian Foster
Arian Foster: Expects to be ready for training camp
Arian Foster, RB, HOU
6/20/2016
News: Foster (Achilles) is expected to be healthy for training camp, should he sign with a team, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.

Foster was released by Houston, his home for the past seven seasons, earlier in the offseason after another disappointing year plagued by injuries. Currently unemployed, he continues to rehab from a torn Achilles in the hopes of finding his way onto a roster. Reports say the four-time Pro Bowler will be hungry and healthy for training camp should any team bring him on.

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Lorenzo Taliaferro
Ravens' Lorenzo Taliaferro: Working behind West
Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, BAL
6/20/2016
News: Taliaferro mostly worked behind Terrance West throughout the Ravens' offseason program, ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley reports.

A 2014 fourth-round selection, Taliaferro has often served as Baltimore's goal-line/short-yardage back when healthy, but a foot injury limited him to just three games last season. He now finds himself on the roster bubble, with Justin Forsett, Javorius Allen and Kenneth Dixon all locks to make the team. Taliaferro's chances got a slight bump when it was announced that Trent Richardson (knee) needs arthroscopic surgery, but it appears West might be the real winner from that development. In any case, the two are likely just competing for the No. 4 spot on the depth chart, which means the battle could be determined on special teams.

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