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Saturday, August 20, 2011
Williams injury has Beanie Wells on the rise


Three updates this morning covering three team situations.

Cardinals running backs: Ryan Williams' season is over, which clears the way for Beanie Wells to be the lead back, but let's not forget his own injury history. Drop Williams off your draft lists and bump up Wells, as we did, into the mid-20s among running backs. We're assuming the Cardinals bring in somebody to replace Williams, however, so don't go thinking Wells has a clear shot at 300 touches. LaRod Stephens-Howling looks to see more third downs and gets a bump into Donald Brown territory; he'll be on your radar but shouldn't be on your Week 1 standard league roster. (He is a sleeper in PPR leagues.)

Patriots running backs: Based on the preseason so far, we're moving Stevan Ridley up and Shane Vereen down and adjusting their projections accordingly. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is still the main man and Danny Woodhead will get the third-down looks, but how Bill Belichick decides to deploy his two rookie backs is a story we'll be following into the early season.

Raiders receivers: Due to the injury to Louis Murphy, Jacoby Ford and Darrius Heyward-Bey look to be the top two receivers to start the season, with additional opportunity for sleeper receiver Denarius Moore (look for more on him in Christopher Harris' super-deep sleepers piece, coming Thursday). Projections, profiles and rankings have been updated for all above receivers, as well as Chaz Schilens.