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.
Let’s see what is going on in and around NFL Training Camp on this Thursday August 14th:
On The Road Again
This time of year is difficult on the fantasy sports analyst. Just when two radio shows per day drops down to one, now I am about to embark on a wild travel schedule over the next few weeks that will have me in nine cities (possibly two countries!) that begins in Detroit covering the Detroit Tigers fantasy football league draft and will conclude with week one of the NFL season in Las Vegas. Though I will have to make a couple pit stops along the way in order to potentially win $2.07 million dollars playing fantasy baseball, I will not let that get in the way of reporting all the important information from around NFL training camps.
All along the way I’ll be gathering more information for you guys to use in your drafts and leagues this season. Hell, even if I suddenly become a millionaire it wouldn’t stop me from emailing my buddies up in Mankato Minnesota to see what is up with the Vikings. I’ve got problems…
Now On With The Show
The Bears and the Jaguars do battle tonight and there are a lot of fantasy nuggets hidden in tonight’s matchup.
Can the Bears offense look so incredibly good for a second straight week against what is becoming a pretty formidable defensive unit in the Jaguars?
How will Ka’Deem Carey look in getting an extended look in the Bears offense? He is the primary handcuff to Matt Forte and is someone you really must plan on handcuffing to if you want to insure yourself of a high end RB this season.
I want to see Storm Johnson run against what will be a terrible defensive front at that point in the game. If I were in a pool to guess which RB was going to have the best week in preseason week two, I would have Storm Johnson on the short list.
Will Marqise Lee cut off his routes once again this week? He did so last week and caught the furor of head coach Gus Bradley. Lee is a very talented WR but one who has a terrible work ethic and demeanor. I personally can’t wait to see Penn State rookie Allen Robinson. Although he won’t be a star wideout at the NFL level I really believe that Robinson will have a long career as a possession receiver. Think slicker looking Anquan Boldin type of stuff and you are on the right track.
What’s A #1 Receiver?
I get the giggles when I hear/read/see fantasy analysts talking about how so and so is this teams #1 WR. Well not so much that statement in and of itself but when they start saying things like “Michael Floyd is the Cardinals new #1 WR.”
The moment I read stuff like this I immediately just say, “this writer has never played organized football in his/her life.” Michael Floyd is not the Cardinals #1 WR nor will he be anytime soon. This is not to say that he won’t produce more than Larry Fitzgerald or any other Cardinals receiver. But being a team’s #1 WR is more about who is lining up in one receiver sets, the percentage of plays designed for that player/position and the percentage of first reads that player/position is within the offense.
As good as Floyd is and the progress he continues to make, he just isn’t the lead dog for the Cardinals passing game. But, he is a very important piece to the offense mostly because he makes the defense play Fitzgerald man to man which creates opportunities for the offense.
In fantasy we use the terminology WR1, WR2, RB1, RB2, etc in order to differentiate and determine value among positions. In the NFL players learn their positions. The better they do and running those routes, and making plays within the confines of the offense the more opportunities they will likely receive in future weeks and seasons. But you don’t just all of a sudden swap literal positions with somebody just because you have performed your completely different job better. Last year Marvin Jones caught 10 TD’s but he wasn’t the #2 in the Bengals passing game.
I hope that you guys understand this and that I am doing a good job of explaining. Sometimes I worry that I am being too analytical and a bit of a snob by saying and writing these simple points but I truly believe it is important if not vital to becoming an elite fantasy football player.
He Is Terrible
The more and more I talk to people who have watched every Minnesota Vikings practice this summer the more I lose hope for Teddy Bridgewater. I can never forgive him his unbelievably awful pro day and with each passing day it becomes more clear that the Teddy Bridgewater we saw miss every possible target was indeed the real Teddy Bridgewater.
The coaching staff is realizing this more and more as well and with that Matt Cassel is becoming more entrenched as the starter come week one. The QB situation in Minnesota has to worry even the most rabid of Cordarrelle Patterson supporters. If you can’t deliver the football in stride to a player who can only catch with his body then there is very little chance at prolonged success.
Adman Bradshaw is still wearing the no-contact jersey at Colts camp. As much as we all don’t like Trent Richardson, it is perhaps we at least start giving him his fifth round respect at this point. Richardson is having a solid camp and that combined with the season ending injury to Vick Ballard and the fact that nobody knows if Ahmad Bradshaw will ever be able to take on contact again leaves but one guy for a big job.
Although a dislocated elbow sounds impossibly painful, 49ers RB LaMichael James was already back at practice on Wednesday just 17 days after suffering the injury. It turns out this was the third time James has had the elbow dislocate and thus is quite accustom to the rehab. He won’t play in game anytime soon but it should be interesting to see how he is used now that Carlos Hyde is cemented as the backup to Frank Gore.
James White is going to be the most valuable fantasy RB of all the Patriots this season. This shouldn’t be that bold of a prediction but he is the only one of the group that can do it all: run, catch, block and pick up the blitz in pass protection. He is an absolute steal right now going in the late rounds.