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NFL Preseason Notes

Antonio Gates (TE)- Returns to full practice Sunday: Gates has been working through an injury and was limited to individual work in prior practices. He should be ready for the regular season and this is an encouraging development for the NFL's top fantasy (and real-life) TE and those planning to draft him accordingly.

Todd Heap (TE)- Practices Sunday as expected: Heap suffered a thumb injury in Saturday's preseason game, but it doesn't appear that it will affect his training for the season in the slightest. He could be a key weapon for new QB Kevin Kolb this season, especially Kolb's affinity for throwing to TE's when he was with the Eagles.

Marques Colston (WR)- Finally returns to the practice field Sunday: No word on if Colston will play in the Saints next preseason game, but he should be set to go by the beginning of the regular season. This is big news for those have already drafted or are planning to draft the most reliable fantasy option on the Saints besides QB Drew Brees.

Mike Sims-Walker (WR)- Doubtful for the Rams' next preseason game due to groin injury: Last year Sims-Walker was slowed by various ankle injuries. This might not necessarily be serious, but with the Rams trying to sort out their various wide receiver options, the timing could be better.

Calvin Johnson (WR)- Day-to-day with a bruised shoulder: Day-to-day infers that Johnson is dealing with a minor issue here, but we'll let you know if that changes for one of the game's best fantasy (and real-life) WR's.

Donald Brown (RB)- Solid in Preaseason Debut, can he hold on to No.2?: Brown had four carries for 21 yards in Saturday's preseason loss to St. Louis. Brown is still listed as No. 2 on the depth chart behind Joseph Addai (along with rookie Delon Carter) and had a good showing Saturday. He's also said to be having a strong camp, but it's hard to put too much faith in him after his struggles last season. If Addai gets hurt, it may be Carter, and not Brown, who takes over as the primary running back.

Ryan Torain (RB)- Status will be updated after he visits with a hand specialist Monday: Torain's hand injury seems to be lingering, so it makes sense to get it checked out. In his absence, Torain has lost ground to Tim Hightower, now the favorite to start at running back for the Redskins. Torain is a better runner than Hightower and should claim the starting RB job eventually, if he can ever get on the field.

Chris Cooley (TE)- Staus up in the air: According to coach Mike Shanahan, Cooley's (knee) status for the regular season is in question. Until we hear otherwise, we'll presume that Shanahan is referring to the start of the season, versus the campaign in its entirety. In any case, Cooley's injury makes Fred Davis a sneaky pickup as a second fantasy TE.

Maurice Jones-Drew (RB)- Knee fine after practicing Saturday: "Today was no soreness, no setbacks. No nothing," Jones-Drew said Sunday. Jones-Drew, who says his knee feels good – in fact a whole lot better than this time last year – said he has little doubt he will be good to go come Week 1. "I guess you could pretty much say they got me a new knee on eBay, which is pretty cool," he said. We're not sure exactly what Jones-Drew means with the eBay reference, but either way, it's good to see him talking the talk with regards to the health of his knee.

Ryan Grant (RB)- Limited action in Preseason opener: Grant carried three times for 13 yards Saturday. Not much can be gleaned from just three carries, but the important thing to note is that Grant is healthy and evidently past the ankle woes that ended his 2010 season early. For now, we'll assume that Grant remains atop the Packers' RB depth chart, but the presence of James Starks – and to a lesser degree Alex Green – ensures that he, nor his fantasy owners, can't take his starting gig/carries for granted.

Danario Alexander (WR)- Looks good in Preseason debut: Alexander (knee) had 43 yards on three receptions in the club's preseason opener Saturday night. Alexander's knee looked fine, although he was relegated to the second team and did not see the field until the second quarter. That aside, if he can stay healthy (and that's a BIG if) we fully expect him to win the starting job opposite Mike Sims-Walker, giving the Rams what could be a very formidable receiving duo with the speed to really stretch a defense and the size to stand tall in the red zone.

Cadillac Williams (RB)- Strong Preseason debut: Williams had 40 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries in the Rams' preseason opener against Indianapolis Saturday night. Williams combined with fellow veteran free agent Jerious Norwood and fourth-string running back Keith Toston to run for 141 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. It's looking more and more like starter Steven Jackson will not be relied upon to carry as much of the load in the backfield as he has in recent years, which is something to consider when drafting Jackson.