Welcome to the 2014 NFL Training Camp Blog! Everyday I’ll be reporting on all of the fantasy worthy news, notes and nonsense from around all 32 NFL training camps. If you want more in-depth knowledge on how to become a better fantasy football player, check out the 210 page Fantasy Football Draft Guide. We’ve got 550+ players ranked, 30 winning strategies from the best players in the world, every coaching system, offensive line and rookie broken down like you have never read before. Plus, you can get is ALL FOR FREE when you deposit into a NEW DraftKings account.
Here is the Training Camp Report for Thursday August 7th:
The first preseason week is finally here and with it your opportunity to actually see all of the players that I have been writing about these past two weeks. Here is a quick walk through of the games this week and what I will be looking for in each one.
I Don’t Like Change
For the first two weeks of the preseason we are going to see the NFL try out a new idea for kicking extra points. After scoring a touchdown the ball will be placed at the 20 yard line which would make each extra point attempt a 37 yard try.
I get that the NFL wants to make the extra point more interesting and I can’t really blame them. These kicks are automatic so its about time we try something new. But do we really want to see 37 yard extra points? I guess that we’ll watch these first two weeks and see for ourselves…
Colts at Jets
The Colts backup WR’s have so much talent but are either often injured or wildly inconsistent. I’ll be watching for Hakeem Nicks to not get a hamstring pull (if he even plays), Da’Rick Rogers to make a couple leaping grabs then drop a pass right in his face and of course my boy Donte Moncrief to see how he looks on an NFL playing field.
Patriots at Redskins
I can’t wait to see what Jay Gruden has done with the Redskins offense. It is such a shame that Mike Shanahan completely quit on these guys last year. I am sure that RGIII won’t play very much but Kirk Cousins is good enough to show me what the Redskins are planning on this year. Cousins is a guy that not only I but many NFL player personnel directors will be watching as well. He has been very good in relief of RGIII over the past two seasons and has the arm strength and escapability to be a starter in the league. He will likely be a prime trade target this offseason.
From the Patriots side I will be interested to see where and when James White gets his first action of the season. It has gotten harder and harder to put either Shane Vereen or Stevan Ridley ahead of White in my rankings these days so it will be nice to actually watch my thoughts put in motion.
49ers at Ravens
Oh man…I honestly an VERY excited to see this one because of each teams running game. I already know that the 49ers will push the ball right down the Ravens throats but will Carlos Hyde get enough carries to run over somebody?
I need to see the Ravens running game. They are using the cut-block system that Gary Kubiak has always used but that takes a whole new set of skills for an offensive line to master. Tonight we can finally see how those linemen are progressing and whether or not the Ravens RB’s are adjusting well to the change.
Bengals at Chiefs
Ideally I would like to see how Giovanni Bernard is used in Hue Jackson’s offense but we probably won’t get a great look at that just yet. But I will smile widely when I see a lot of motion and play action by the Bengals tonight knowing that a real offensive guru is here for the season.
Seahawks at Broncos
I want to see some sort of fight from the Broncos tonight. The Seahawks beat their ass in the Super Bowl and preseason game or not it is revenge time. If the Broncos players aren’t motivated for this matchup I will really question whether or not they have the heart and drive to be champions.
Will Christine Michael or Robert Turbin be first in the game? This could clue us in to who has the inside track to be one of the most valuable fantasy handcuffs this season.
Cowboys at Chargers
I don’t know if it is going to happen tonight but I will be very happy to see Chargers WR Malcom Floyd back on the field this year. Floyd suffered a very scary neck/spine injury last year and had his career put in doubt. Floyd isn’t a great fantasy option but he’s always been a receiver that I like because of his ability to do all of the little things that professional wide receivers are supposed to do.
The more you watch Titans WR Justin Hunter the more you fall in love with his ability to play “above the rim” so to speak. This kid has amazing leaping ability and uses his hands so well in the air that it is scary. Hunter caught a few jump ball touchdowns for the Titans last year despite not being used regularly in the offense.
New head coach Ken Whisenhunt really loves this kid and wants to have Hunter on the field at all times in 2014. Even if he is not getting the ball, Hunter is a real threat to the defense at all times and is borderline uncoverable when he is on.
Things I Forgot To Mention Earlier In The Week
Shocking news (not really) that Redskins WR DeSean Jackson sprained his ankle in a late practice on Tuesday. D-Jax will not play in the Redskins first preseason game now and will likely do all that he can to milk this injury for the remainder of training camp. Lucky for the readers of Fantasy Alarm that I have already built in DeSean Jackson's likely injuries into his draft guide ranking. As good as D-Jax can be he is just not someone that you want to trust as anything more than a WR3 in fantasy football.
Evidently, Peyton Hillis has a significant foot injury all of a sudden and will be completely shut down going forward. Obviously this is great news for hall of fame game beast Andrew Williams but also begs the question of what happens to Hillis now? Although he looked good against the Bills the other night he is still so incredibly slow that he serves little purpose for an offense.
Somehow I keep forgetting to mention Texans WR Mike Thomas and his real strong training camp thus far. Head coach Bill O’Brien is glowing about the idea of playing Thomas in the slot with Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins on the outsides. Personally, I don’t like undersized WR’s like Thomas for fantasy purposes but he looks to be in a great spot here in Houston. Thomas could wind up being somebody that is draftable as we get further into the month of August.