2014 NFL Training Camp Report: August 15th
Jeff Mans takes a look around NFL training camp 2014 and picks out all of the fantasy relevant information you need to stay ahead of the competition
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Last night the Bears and the Jaguars kicked off another round of preseason games which are scheduled all weekend long. Of course we are going to have to wait until Tuesday to react to Johnny Manziel’s second game but that is perfectly fine with me. Let’s take a spin around the league and get the latest news and a preview of the games on tap this weekend.
Wonder If Anybody Cares?
Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe received a one week suspension from the NFL on Friday. Bowe will now miss the Chiefs opening week game against the Tennessee Titans. Bowe is being suspended for defying the NFL’s substance abuse policy and is likely related to his November arrest for marijuana possession. Three years ago this would have been big news but in 2014 it doesn’t really affect anybody.
Sigh Of Relief
Perhaps this isn’t the best headline for a story about an injury but Buccaneers RB Charles Sims will miss 2-3 months after undergoing ankle surgery on Friday. Sims was injured in the Bucs practice in Thursday and could wind up on the IR/designated to return list.
The sigh of relief is for Doug Martin who I have ranked easily in the top 10 of RB’s this year and now is free of any committee concerns. People forget that Martin had almost 2000 total yards in 2012 as a rookie and is both a tough runner and excellent pass catcher. Bobby Rainey will now be the backup for Martin but I see no reason to handcuff him at all. Mike James might even get a few touches at Rainey’s expense so saves those of us who draft Martin another pick.
The Bears offense is REALLY good and their defense is REALLY bad. This means there are going to be a ton of fantasy points scored in Chicago this year. Sure Blake Bortles looked good last night but why wouldn’t he? The Bears starting secondary is bad and got torched by Chad Henne. So, obviously the second string defense isn’t going to put up much of a fight. Bortles is making rapid progress but personally I wouldn’t throw him into the fire just yet. He needs at least a half of a season to learn what it takes to be a backup before being given the reigns.
Anybody who has high expectations of Josh McCown this season had better look at what Jimmy Clausen is doing these days. Clausen was a guy that nobody wanted just a few weeks ago and is now barely letting the football hit the ground. So, either the Bears have magicians in their midst or this system is fantastic for QB’s. I am going to go out on a limb to say it is probably the later.
Nick Foles needs to play better this week. Philly fans don’t care what you did for them last year and Foles was completely lost against a defense that made Chad Henne look great. Foles will need to move this Eagles offense quickly and without turning the ball over for everybody to take a sigh or relief.
I can’t wait to see James White tonight. I have a feeling that this is the week everybody officially climbs on board the bandwagon that I have been driving the past two weeks. This kid is basically Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and LeGarrette Blount (I know he is not on the Pats anymore asshole!) all rolled into one. I am expecting a big game out of him against the Eagles this evening.
I am always happy to see the progress of Zach Mettenberger although I should really be watching Jake Locker to see if he can string together a few completions tonight. Bishop Sankey should be used more tonight as well and draws a pretty good matchup against what will likely be a second string Saints defense at that point. Watching Shonn Greene plod along then Sankey come in and rip off a few sharp runs would be perfect.
Honestly anything that happens on the Saints offense that doesn’t involve Drew Brees is kind of pointless. I am sure Brandin Cooks will have another strong performance that will lift his draft stock even higher. But can Nick Toon ever make an impact in an actual game? That is something I would like to see. Also, watch for Pierre Thomas’ usage tonight as well. He is falling behind Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson lately (yeah, I know) and that is very concerning. Everybody in PPR leagues is assuming that Thomas is good for 70+ catches again this year but that is far from a lock.
I was just in Detroit and had an opportunity to visit Ford Field. Unfortunately this game won’t be in the beautiful palace in Detroit and rather at the Coliseum in Oakland where Raiders fans will try and butt rape anything that walks. Anyways, about that game I am watching the Lions secondary very closely tonight. They do not matchup well against the big Raiders WR’s and this information will come in handy during the regular season as the Lions take on the bigs in Chicago, Green Bay and Minnesota. I would say that I am eager to see Eric Ebron again but I am not. He is basically dead to me at this point as there are far more TE’s I’d use a draft pick on than Ebron.
The Raiders entire offense is interesting. Is Maurice Jones-Drew really going to be the lead dog in the Raiders backfield or does Darren McFadden bounce to the outside and remind everyone just how good he can be? I do want to see some continued development out of the Matt Schaub/Andre Holmes connection this evening as well. Holmes is a guy that nobody is drafting which is great news for those who want to load up on upside WR’s later on in their draft.
Everytime that I hear the Chargers mentioned as a sleeper team I want to vomit. They are not good at anything. Their offense is generic and has only the sure will of Phillip Rivers as a reliable asset. That is not to say that I don’t like Keenan Allen or Antonio Gates because I do. But, this offense as a whole kind of bores me.
Speaking of boring offenses, here come the Seattle Seahawks! Is Marshawn Lynch going to get some reps tonight? If he does will he be swinging a giant spiked ball on a chain clubbing defenders? Anything is possible with Lynch these days. I do want to see either Christine Michael or Robert Turbin really make a statement tonight. One of these guys has an opportunity to be the direct backup in one of the best running situations in the NFL but each needs to separate themselves in this competition.